When It Rains It Pours And When There Are Clouds There Are Sometimes 'Signs'
If you want to see pro and con, get into the world of "signs." Few things are more controversial, especially at a time of hyper-rationalism.
There are larger signs like those we note in the weather -- in natural events -- and smaller ones that come in the way of images.
All are "controversial," but it's the latter one that especially get folks going.
In their view, it's enough to believe that God is speaking through storms or earthquakes, but please spare the "smaller" miracles.
And it must be said that many are indeed nebulous -- literally, for many are those who believe they see things in the clouds (but rather impressively, as at left, above, taken this past Lent, which shows a statue of Mary looking to clouds and conversing with what resembles a cloudlike profile of Christ).
Do we really see holiness portrayed in the clouds that waft and roil above, that are astir in the skies, that hover over us constantly?
Scientists argue the "rule of large numbers" -- that in a world with billions of people and in a sky with millions of clouds anything can resemble anything. We see what we want to see, they argue -- according to our inclinations.
That's one argument. The other is that there is no such thing as coincidence -- that everything has meaning, even "trivial" formations.
The confluence of nature will be seen when we die in a tapestry. But what does it mean?
When it comes to the sky, many are those who believe they have witnessed the portrayal or snapshot of an ongoing spiritual battle, one that is reaching new heights. Many are those who see both angelic and demonic faces (as if they are vying with each other and reflecting the moment in which we live).
There are those who see faces. There are those who see scenes. There are those who see "crosses." Many of the latter are happenstance -- the contrails from jets whose paths cross -- but they often seem to be there at poignant times.
"We were a group of 22 pilgrims from Toronto who visited Spain and France," writes Marilyn Xavier. "This picture [left] was taken in Santo Toribio De Liebana Monastery in Picos Europa on Good Friday. After veneration of the largest relic of the True Cross (Lignum crucis ), we walked up to the panoramic look-out beside the monastery. We were walking back from this look-out for the Stations of the Cross when we saw these cloud crosses in the sky at midday."
"I live in Acworth Georgia," says another viewer, Maureen Carter. "The faces in the clouds that I began to see was in 92, when I was traveling by airplane down to Florida to Alabama. I lived in Alabama down by the Gulf of Mexico from 1992 until 2004, where I saw the majority of faces in the clouds, especially before 9/11. We sold our home and left the gulf coast two weeks before Hurricane Ivan hit. I still see faces in the clouds here too, but not as many like I saw down at the Gulf Coast."
"I just finished reading your article, 'Lift the Veil and See the Signs of the Times,'" wrote another viewer. "Once again, I am struck by the sense that God is urgently speaking to everyone -- anyone, who will listen."
Oh, no question that "signs" seen in clouds or star clusters or pieces of wood are less convincing than weeping statues -- which themselves are so often under dispute. Another sign of our time is the spirit of skepticism. Sometimes that skepticism is justified. Often it is not. We features ourselves as "scientific" but do so at a time when -- according to one recent survey -- the majority of scientific papers are flawed and can not be considered true science.
Thus does it behoove us to dismiss the notion that scientists are the masters of our reality.
The key word is "balance." We need to find a balance. Perhaps some see too many signs and some too few.
"I hear more and more, of this happening," said another viewer. " I hear people witnessing more and more to the storms that will come. Recently, my husband felt lead to read Ezekiel Chapter 12. The time is upon us. No longer will God's word delay. It will happen as we 'talk about them.'"
How about this cloud "sign"? Contrails, contrails; but pretty neat. In other cases, when things are too spectacular, we have to be on guard against photographic legerdemain. In the age of computers, it is easy to manipulate pictures digitally. As for other signs?
"We've had terribly dry weather the first four months of this year," writes Father Michael Lyons of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Ganado, Texas. "Pastorally, the Lord has blessed our parish with many wonderful gifts. I sense we are on the verge of a great explosion of faith. As can be expected, however, the enemy will find the vulnerable points and attack.
"About three months ago, I sensed one aspect of our ministry here was extremely vulnerable because of some misunderstandings related to a talk given at a youth gathering. I prayed intensely about it. I asked others to pray intensely about it.
"One afternoon, I was in my office when I noticed it was darker outside. Clouds started to form. Within a very minutes, I looked out to a torrential rain. When the rain let up, I noticed the time. It was about 3:45 p.m. By 4 p.m., the sun was shining. Then I realized it was a few minutes after 3 that the clouds started forming and rain started pouring at about 3:15. I felt a warm tug on my heart. I realized then that the un-forecast yet much needed shower had occurred during the Hour of Mercy. I took that as a sign that the spiritual storm would pass as well. There have no further difficulties regarding that situation.
"God is so great," concludes Father Lyons. "The sign he used to comfort me as pastor of this parish also brought some relief from drought to this area."
"Here is the photo as promised," says yet another viewer, for your reckoning. "The photo was taken in Sydney in NSW, the man went to visit his daughter in Sydney, he is from Geelong in Victoria in Australia. She said to him that he should take a photo of the absolutely beautiful rainbow in the sky, he did and thought nothing of it, just did it to please her. Upon returning he took film to Kodak Express to get developed, and the manager rang him and said that a miraculous image is on one of his photos and that it has not been tampered with at all. Here it is.
05/11/06You are at www.spiritdaily.org