Of Little Flashlights And Signs Linked With A Major Mystic And Recent Storms
By Michael H. Brown
Several years back I paid a visit to Mother Angelica at her monastery in Hanceville, Alabama, after we appeared together on her Catholic television network. At that time she gave me a little flashlight to attach to my key ring. She said that was for when the lights went out. We both agreed that there were coming upheavals in nature, and in subsequent years I have seen my share of electrical outages, whether from ice storms, lightning, tropical systems, or the great Northeast blackout of a year ago. I don't know how she and her nuns fared as Ivan passed through Alabama, but I remember the irony of the lights at her cloister going out (that time due to construction) as we spoke about coming events.
We shared a conviction about such happenings and also a friendship with Venezuelan stigmatic Maria Esperanza, who likewise foresaw what she once called "disturbances in nature." In fact in her last public prophecy, Esperanza, who saw the year 2004 as the beginning of purification, and specifically the second half of the year, warned that the U.S. was in for a "lash." It strikes me as peculiar that in the little more than a month since the great mystic died, the U.S. has incurred three major landfalling hurricanes (never so many in a month) and a major tropical storm. There it was everywhere, in the newspapers, on CNN: Charley lashes. Frances lashes. Ivan lashes. Alabama "lashed."
In the past four decades -- since 1966 -- only three major hurricanes have hit the Florida peninsula. Two of those were Charley and Frances, which came in a single year within weeks of each other.
Even the skeptics are beginning to sense the unusual confluence.
And of course hurricanes come in the second half of the year.
It is reminiscent of the 1920s, when the world likewise was headed into a cycle of intense hurricanes (and purification). It wasn't just Florida. During a period of intense activity that lasted roughly from 1926 to 1966, major hurricanes struck Long Island, southern New England, and New England again, along with Florida, Texas, and the Southeast. The potential for hurricanes in parts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Virginia exceeds some parts of Florida, which should serve as warning. A category-three cutting into New Jersey at around Freehold would strand millions and swamp large parts of Manhattan.
This is not to inspire fear. It is to inspire prayer. With prayer, nothing like that will happen.
Although the damage has been large, prayer already has proven itself with the three (thus far) hurricanes of 2004. Tragic as each fatality is, the death toll of the three hurricanes combined is about as many as died this week in just two Iraqi car bombings, and major cities have been spared thus far.
I have been trying to track down a comment I had heard in connection with Esperanza, that the impression had been left -- by her or someone close to her -- that her passing would signal the disturbances. I think it related to her prediction that major events would come after a person loved by many died, a prophecy many related to the Pope but may also have related to Maria. Whatever the case, it was certainly ironic that she died in the year -- 2004 -- that she often had focused upon. We have had many requests for a novena based on her prophecy about "rivers of light," and it's available here.
Since her death, family members have reported various signs. A strange blue butterfly that allegedly has been spotted at rare and special times at the Church-approved apparition site of Betania in Maria's homeland of Venezuela has been seen with unprecedented frequency since her death, according to son-in-law Carlos Marrero Bornn, who was with Maria when she died on August 7 and is now back in Caracas. "The appearances have been overwhelming,' he told Spirit Daily Thursday. "It's something so powerful. We're seeing it almost every day."
There has been a constant sense, the family emphasizes, of Esperanza's presence. Soon after Maria's death, daughter Coromoto was stirred from sleep by her mother's voice telling her to pray. As Coromoto went to the bathroom to splash water on her face, she cried out to her mother asking why she had left in the way she left (many had held out the hope of a miraculous healing). That's when Coromoto says she audibly heard her mother's voice reply, "Who said I am dead?" Right after, Coromoto found a rose petal (roses have long been associated with Esperanza) in the bathroom.
Another rose petal appeared mysteriously near the altar after a priest named Father Raul Ascanio said Mass at an army base in Caracas. He had just told the crowd about his impressions of Maria. There were no roses anywhere around. Yet another materialized in a washing machine and was fresh and untouched, according to Carlos.
Meanwhile, a nurse in New Jersey who tended to Esperanza in her final days saved a small quantity of her blood, which family members have placed on small pieces of cloth that have been laminated. It is only for family members, and a granddaughter named Vanessa reports that the spot of blood she was given has turned from the dark brown color it had been back to a bright red.
While Esperanza's family want the mystic interred in a glass encasement at Betania, they have decided to let the Church handle such action and in the meantime buried Maria at Cementereo del Este in Caracas on August 22.
But back to storms:
They are fascinating. At Hanceville, lightning once struck the cross at the top of the new church that Mother Angelica built, and I was made to think of that yesterday as the same systems that have been haunting Florida now moved inland.
Oh, the times in which we live!
Never a dull moment. Nothing to fear. But do prepare, which means pray for sanctification; with purity of heart, there is nothing to fear.
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