with God's Will,
by St. Alphonsus
de Liguori, a little booklet that brilliantly explains why
many things happen in life and why we were given what we
were given, by a major saint who explains the path to love
of God and perfection -- how that perfection is achieved
only with Divine union and how important it is for our
ODDS AND ENDS: ABOUT THOSE WISCONSIN NOISES AND ALSO THE SPIRITUAL 'VIBES' OF AUSTIN, TEXAS
We had the joy of meeting many wonderful "prayer warriors" in Austin, Texas, over the weekend, and prayer warriors they have to be:
Austin is (surprisingly) tough spiritual turf.
There is a strain of rebellion through the texture of Austin, where hippies, eccentric artists, and other members of the counterculture seem to find it snug. There's the local homeless transvestite icon who has run for mayor multiple times (finishing second in 2000); there's "Eeyore’s Birthday," held annually on the last Saturday of April and drawing over 20,000 people for live music, food, drum circles, intermittent nudity and recreational drug use. There is also Hippie Hollow Park – the only clothing-optional public park in Texas. Of course, you can find these things in many urban areas.
The feeling of resistance was palpable, however, and we were later reminded that -- besides being a state capital, and the location for a massive school (the University of Texas), and stomping grounds of Sixties music types like Janis Joplin -- Austin was the home of Madalyn O'Hair, who founded the American Atheists and spearheaded the abolition of Bible reading and prayer in public school.
There are spirit lights ("UFOs"). Seen at the airport and in shops around town are t-shirts devised by commerce types with the city's slogan: "Keep Austin Weird."
We are also told there is heavy occult and New Age activity, including witchcraft and actual satanism. In fact, Austin is home to the satanic Temple of Set. It is also where a famous pinup actress lived (she later died in a bizarre accident elsewhere after she was reportedly "cursed" by a fellow satanist). Yet, there are also strong Christian ministries.
Notes a viewer named Cheryl:
"Just wanted to let you know that as a practicing cradle Catholic, Austin wasn't all bad. In fact there was a vibrant Catholic community there when I was there, including young adults. The Cathedral downtown hosted First Saturday devotions and had two daily masses plus confessions at noon for downtown workers (like me). The noon Mass was filled when the first Iraq war was announced and on. I attended more than one pro-life Operation Rescue while in Austin, and the Protestants at the time had a better presence outside the abortion center closer to my apartment than the Catholics did. A local priest, however, did occasionally lead a Rosary outside the center after Saturday morning Mass and the Protestants said they had better luck with their efforts at the center on the mornings when the Rosary was said. Trouble was, most of the Catholics (except me) would leave after the Rosary.
"Anyway, there are plenty of great things about Austin, including pro-life governor Rick Perry and our legislature who last year de-funded Planned Parenthood as well as passing a sonogram law to require one before abortion (it was of course taken to court). Remember, many Democrats in Texas are more conservative than many Republicans 'back east.'"
"I had no idea of the amount of evil attached to this place... Madlayn O'Hair, etcetera. I will say that I've been very unsettled ever since I moved here nearly eight years ago. Perhaps this is part of the issue I've been struggling with since moving here (wanting to turn around and move far, far away from here). Now that I understand the underlying culture here, I will redouble my prayers and protection for myself and my family. 'Keep Austin Weird' has never been a tongue-in-cheek saying to me. It has always seemed very unnatural. Now I'm understanding why."
So we see how brave the believing, activist Catholics there in Austin have to be (as in so many other places) -- and how crucial it was that we had a deacon there to bless water and salt. (We were also graced with the presence of several priests.)
(Is it really "irony" [see clip]?)
* * *
Our previous retreat was in Green Bay, Wisconsin -- and last week a town just a hundred miles from there was the scene of national news stories about a series of strange booms and loud rumblings.
We found this of interest, of course, because such rumblings have been reported -- particularly this year -- around the world, from the U.S. and Canada to Ukraine. One seismologist asserts that the Wisconsin booms, centered in a town called Clintonville, were the result of a tiny, magnitudfe-1.5 quake, which reverberated off the area's granite (tremors that size are usually not felt or heard).
Whether rumblings are seismic or caused by some other means (there are many locations where geophysical activity has not been detected in relation to the sound, and where the sounds seem to emanate more from the atmosphere and sometimes resemble a trumpet, reminiscent of the Old Testament shofar, and perhaps even related to solar activity), we are interested because of the "1990 prophecy," wherein there is the prediction that "chastisements will differ according to regions, and like the great evil, will not always or usually be immediately noticeable for what they are. In the period also will be a warning that involves not fire from the sky but fear of fire from the sky, and strange loud rumblings."
Let us note that this same region of Wisconsin is where a famous chastisement occurred in 1871 -- the greatest wildfire in U.S. history, which killed thousands, burned an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, and roared right up to the Church-approved apparition site near Green Bay (but did not burn it!). During that apparition, Mary had warned that her Son was ready to "punish" the people due to their spiritual indifference.
Now, just 47 miles away (from the shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, which is in Champion), in this same region that was scorched, the little ruckus in Clintonville.
Officials say it was a quake. Last Friday The New York Times -- which to its credit reported the situation in greater entirety than most media -- noted that "night after night of the same quake-like eruptions has inspired a local obsession — driven by fear and fascination — to pinpoint the cause. But almost a week since it started, there is still no complete explanation for why Clintonville, population about 4,600, is booming." It added that there was the "microearthquake — a magnitude of 1.5, and very rare for the region — just after midnight on Tuesday that may have been responsible for some of the sounds. Standing at the dais, Lisa Kuss, the city administrator, said her best guess was that the unusually warm winter and early spring weather might have something to do with the phenomenon. 'It is possible,' she said, 'that we will never have a definitive answer.'"
It doesn't matter what is causing the strange loud rumblings so much as their prevalence. Quakes are occurring in many places that aren't used to them (and never mind the "year without winter"!). These are signs.
Is the earth's core (as mystic Maria Esperanza warned) "out of balance"?
Is there a combination?
In some cases, is there is a spiritual component?
We can only say:
[About Austin, O'Hair's son William, now a preacher, said of his poor mother (prayer need here): ""When I was a young boy of ten or eleven years old she would come home and brag about spending the day in X-rated movie theaters in downtown Baltimore.... My mother’s whole life circulated around such things... It was love of power over people that finally caused not only her death, but the deaths of my brother and my daughter... My mother was an evil person... Not for removing prayer from America's schools... No, she was just evil. She stole huge amounts of money. She misused the trust of people. She cheated children out of their parents' inheritance. She cheated on her taxes and even stole from her own organizations."
[As for the sky, a viewer says, "Not long ago at sunrise, my wife saw something very strange. A bright white line came down in front of the partially risen sun. It was as long as her windshield is tall. Before long, the line turned to black, and she said it was as if the sky was splitting in half. It would not show up on her I-Phone camera. Then, the black line faded out. Has anyone else seen something like this?"]
[see also: Small quakes turn Wisconsin town into boomtown]
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