Holy Week Brings Prophetic Expectation And A Query: What Is Meant By 'Imminent'?
Prophecy, prophecy. How much of it is real?
And how soon?
If there is a consistency between locutions and apparitions, it is that major events loom and are in fact "imminent." In many circles, especially those that believe there is an actual code to decipher dates, Holy Week typically brings heightened expectations.
That word has been used now for two decades. "Imminent." What does imminent mean in words spoken -- allegedly -- from the eternal, from a different dimension of time, if such messages (especially prevalent around Holy Week) are authentic?
These are questions we must consider along with the constant guard against deception. Dates. Times.
How imminent is "imminent"? And when "apocalyptic" seems to be the message, might there be cases in which the apocalypse is local -- at least for the time being?
It can be noted that the famous apparitions in Medjugorje were followed by a brutal civil war in Bosnia-Hercegovina (where it is located); that Church-approved and apocalyptic apparitions in Rwanda were followed by the highest rate of killing in known human history (a war that even took the lives of two seers); that an apparition in Nicaragua which also had a degree of Church sanction was followed by an almost apocalyptic, Noah-like flood in that nation (bodies floating from one small Central American nation to another, during Hurricane Mitch); and that a fully Church-approved apparition in Venezuela -- where natural events were mentioned as harbingers -- was followed by an apocalyptic mudslide that killed tens of thousands in the proximity (around Caracas) of the apparition.
Such predictions continue. And in Venezuela, where the apparition site is at a spot named "Betania" (which means "Bethany"), many continue to gather, thousands just over a week ago in recognition of the apparition's March 25 anniversary.
Events continue to dovetail and fascinate. In Portugal, where the apparition at Fatima stated in the first two parts of the secret that the faith would be maintained (as opposed, presumably, to the rest of Europe, which indeed has fallen to the wayside), recent measures to legalize abortion have been jarring and further indicate, as the Vatican has said, that the secrets there have played out. We are in a new time -- with new "secrets."
The same is true in Mexico, where there have been moves to legalize abortion in the land of the Virgin of Guadalupe (emblem of the pro-life movement in North America).
In addition to "imminence" is also the issue of proportion. Starting in 1991, a 14-year-old Orthodox in Iraq named Dina Basher began experiencing mystical phenomena, which were to include stigmata and alleged apparitions of Mary. The messages here too had to do with imminent apocalyptic events. The question: was the apocalypse worldwide, or proportionate to local events and related more to Iraq?
We all know what has occurred there since 1991.
For many, in many ways, it has been the end of the world.
Dina had claimed in the 1990s that the Lord, Who also appeared to her, said: "You will be exposed to many pains and dangers, but I beg of you to bear it so that you may be with Me always and I will help you in everything and I am with all of you. Tell My people I suffer like you; tell My dear ones I suffer so much. My daughter, obey your priests and obey your deaconesses and obey all who tell you something good. Pray with your priests and all the people. Unite, unite, My brothers. Unite and you will receive the power to fight those who oppose Me."
Priests have been abducted, and Catholicism in that area has all but disappeared. Just last week two nuns were killed in the area of Mosul -- where Dina lived and received her messages and which is located near the ruins of ancient Nineveh [see Jonah].
Last December it was reported that a crusade was under way to impose Islamic law in Mosul, "a city where threats and violence against Christians have reached the level of real persecution for ideological and political ends. As Christmas draws near, Christians are confined to their homes that have become like 'prison' which they dare not leave for fear of kidnappings and killings."
"Violent clashes marked the Friday when eighty children of the Chaldean parish of the Holy Spirit received their first Holy Communion," said one report last December from Mosul. "The young parish priest, Father Ragheed Ganni, told AsiaNews how he turned gunshots into fireworks not to spoil this special day of celebration."
A local patriarch issued a decree referring to the happenings as "astounding miracles and wonders" and the Bishop of Baghdad has described the phenomena as a manifestation of God's living power.
On December 6, 1991, Dina related a message from the Lord in which He allegedly said, "Begin prayers in the church, begin prayers in the home. Repent, for My Second Coming is near at hand. Each of the faithful is to light a candle in his own home, sing hymns in your homes, and sing hymns of praise and glory because the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near. Repeat Kyrie Elieson -- Lord have mercy -- three times in your prayers. Fasting from the tongue -- not talking -- is preferable to fasting from food though both are required. Come to My house and begin prayer and light the candles and welcome Me with joy. Come to Me, all who have burdens, and I will give you rest."
Are other messages meant more for locales than the entire world? Do seers sometimes extrapolate prophecies pertinent to their areas into prophecies about world-wide events?
Or are the local events mere preludes -- occurring in the spots of apparition as an exclamation point?
Ordinary folks everywhere have received similar inclinations. Let us call them "inspirations" or prompts in the Spirit. In a timeline that stretches back to 1985 -- around when the recent outpouring of prophecy was about to kick into high gear -- Don of Huntsville, Alabama, recounts all kinds of signs and messages, personal and for the world: in 1987 an incredible rainbow he drove right through (in Jacksonville); in 1991, a formation of clouds that first looked like a stern masculine face looking down at the world, then the soft one of Mary; in 1993 a mass of clouds that looked like angels and then a mass of clouds that looked like the tail of a serpent.
In 1993 Don claims he saw clouds that formed seven trumpets (three "clear and ready to blow"); in 1994 a veil of darkness that covered half the sky; in 1994 the inspiration to say, "The heat shall be in the blood. It shall come to a boil. People shall become enthralled with its power and thrill. The dullness of their souls shall be shattered and overpowered. It will drive the emotions and provide a life force of its own. It shall wash over all of mankind. Prayer is the only defense to keep from being drawn into the boiling cauldron."
The verbatim words from on high or perceptions of a general feeling of imminence? We are inspired in many ways. During Holy Week, the veil is thin. How much can we analyze such things?
On March 28, 2007, during Adoration Joan Bershefsky of Stratford, Connecticut, waxed poetic with a "message" that typifies what thousands have reported in their intuitions.
“My beloved daughter, Hear deep in your heart these words from Father. Time is of the essence. Stay very close to My Presence; I’ve told you in the past; That the world will look on aghast; What is coming is horrendous for sure; Hope in Jesus will be the only cure; People will be running helter skelter; Trying to find shelter; The shelter they will only find; Will be of the spiritual kind."
[resources: The Day Will Come]
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