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SIGNS OF THE TIMES: INCREDIBLE FLOODING AT LOURDES SHOWS HOW IT RAINS ON GOOD AND EVIL ALIKE

The rearrangement of our surroundings -- prefigurements of future change -- continues to pile up around us.

This is especially true of floods.

In the span of one week -- less than one week, last week -- was news of:

-- A hundred thousand forced to flee flooding in Calgary and other parts of Alberta, Canada, flooding that killed several people and turned that major city into a "watery ghost town."

-- Monsoons that inundated India to the extent of killing not dozens but hundreds and of leaving tens of thousands missing (perhaps trapped by mud; prayer need)

-- Overflow of the River Gave onto the famous apparition and healing site of Lourdes, France (prayer need again), killing several in the vicinity and leaving a scene that one news report said was described by locals as like a vision of "the apocalypse."

We note that the Blessed Mother's statue remains well intact at the grotto, looking down on the floodwaters, which reached five feet there in the cave. (Do you see a Shroud-like image in the grotto, top left)?

Europe had just seen unusual flooding in its central part -- floods that threatened parts of Germany and the city of Prague (every week, it seems, have been "fifty-year" or "one-hundred-year" floods).

At the same time, officials in Britain were warning that those who live in that part of the world can expect decades of rough weather ahead.

We thought we had discussed weather enough for a while. Not so. The accent on floods is interesting. Soon, we will be discussing fire. In America, thus far, it has been tornadoes. But there have been flood threats there too and tropical waves are firing up in the Atlantic. (A season like 2004 in the cards?)

Meanwhile, on the day of summer solstice (June 21, 2013), as if on cue, the sun issued a massive solar flare.

It all rises around us, as we reiterated last week, and have for so long: At the same time as we see fears of Big Brother materialize before our eyes (phone spying, computer hacking, even a cable company that wants to install cameras into TV boxes, allowing it to watch viewers in their own homes), and as we watch society degrade (into a tangle of tattoos and unwed celebrity moms, as well as increasingly bizarre abortion tragedies), there are the societal upheavals (in Brazil, 1.5 million protesters) and the gyrating weather.

Most poignant, because it is an apparition site, at this time of Marian warnings, was what has occurred at Lourdes.

Arguably the most famous apparition site (right up there with Fatima and Guadalupe), it has been largely shut down by a river inundation that buried much of it in three feet of mud, filled a relatively new and massive (capacity: 25,000) basilica there (the one dedicated to Pius X) with ten feet of dirty water, and washed right into the grotto where Bernadette saw Mary. Here is a video to remember [see also below].

"Chapels and the bathing pools filled with water that pilgrims believe has curative powers lie in ruins after being overrun by fierce floodwaters that thundered through the town," reported the London Telegraph. "Only the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception has escaped unscathed."

Irony there?

The only sacred place untouched: the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. As waters recede, the foundations of buildings have been bared -- just as events will lay bare foundations of our societies.

Even the President of France rushed to the scene.

Lourdes is a place that attracts forty thousand visitors a day during the summer, and some of it may be closed much of the year. By Saturday -- miraculously -- the grotto had reopened. An appeal was made to the Pope to visit. (He almost surely will, after the clean-up.)

How do we discern it?

Do we take from it that during future events much of Mary's prompt succor will be taken from us, and that tragedy will strike even holy places? Or simply that the recent legalization of gay marriage in France came into play?

In India [right], "rescuers found forty bodies floating in the River Ganges near a Hindu holy city on Friday [6/21/13], sending the death toll past two hundred from flooding in northern India that has stranded tens of thousands of people, mostly Hindu pilgrims, since heavy monsoon rains began about a week ago," reports ABC. In one case the statue of a goddess was not so fortunate as the statue at Lourdes.

It rains on us all (Matthew 5:45). While objects and holy places often miraculous survive disaster (as signs), at other times they suffer the same as any other place. (Note the destruction through the centuries of churches in the Holy Land.)

But what is immaculate has the best chance. With Lourdes, there are no messages or prophecies we can link to what has occurred there of late, except to note that Lourdes is part of that string of apparitions that began in 1830 (with the Miraculous Medal apparitions, during which there were prophecies of difficult times) and included sites like LaSalette (also in France, where major changes in the weather were foreseen, along with other events).

Stay tuned.

Mathias Terrier, communications director at Lourdes, told a website called The Local: "It's catastrophic. We cannot see how we could reopen in acceptable conditions in the weeks to come. We cannot lie about the situation. Everything is broken, everything is destroyed. We do not know what to do."

The surface of the road between the river and the Church of St. Bernadette had been damaged by the waters to the extent, to repeat, that the foundations of the church were clearly visible. "The flooding in the southwest of France has largely been the result of a sudden rise in temperatures in the Pyrenees, where cold weather had kept snow on the ground much later than is normal after record falls over the winter," says another news outlet. "Other parts of France have been hit by torrential rain or hail which have caused significant damage to some crops, notably vines in the area of the Loire valley where Vouvray sparkling wine is made."

Look for more to come, in different ways, in different regions (see, for example, fires in Colorado). The climate is swinging like a pendulum -- going to more and more extremes (as society does also). Just last October Lourdes also was closed due to flooding (though it wasn't as severe back then as now).

Pre-signs?

Little disasters grow into ones that are not quite as little.

In Alberta, the province's premier said, "I took a look at property and community down there, and Ive got to tell you: standing on a bridge, in the dark, when the power is out, listening to the roar of the river is terrifying.

[resources: Sent To Earth]

[Photo at top courtesy of AdelaidNow]

[6/24/13]

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