by Fr. Robert DeGrandis, on the
charismatic gift of 'knowing' -- of receiving direct wisdom and knowledge
from Heaven, especially in healing but also in music, in discernment, in
finding lost things, in Scripture and everyday life!
FROM WHENCE DO STORMS COME: IS IT GOD SPEAKING OR JUST NATURE OR FROM DARKNESS?
Storms: from whence do they come? Also let us ask: and quakes?
Strange loud rumblings.
God certainly can send them, we know that from the Bible -- as we know too that there are times God is not in the whirlwind (1 Kings). Of course, He spoke to Job from a whirlwind. He took Elijah up in one. "The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook (Psalms 77:18) "In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet" (Nahum 1:3).
Of course, there are the "simple" forces of nature. Water evaporates. The air heats -- and forms a cyclone. Convection. Can the wind come from the devil? He is the prince of the power of the air. This too we get from Scripture. Note: the word "hurricane," meanwhile, comes from the Mayan Indian word "huracan" (pronounced hoor-a-can), meaning "evil wind" or spirit. Jesus said: we know not from where the wind comes nor where it goes. We think we know. Even with modern techniques of forecasting, there are plenty of mysteries and unknowns. Are there signs?
When Gladys L. Hargis, a Kansas woman we wrote about last week (for her near-death episode), once decided to test the truth of Scripture -- and asked for a sign -- she got a violent storm that rose out of nowhere (sending her family scurrying for the closest nearby house; afterward, relatives living right in that neighborhood said they saw no clouds or any signs of inclement weather). "All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, the sky got terribly dark and wind buffeted our truck," she recounted (in You Live Forever).
Last weekend, World Youth Day in Madrid was interrupted by a fierce lightning storm that shook the altar stage, blew the Pope's cap off, knocked over makeshift chapels housing 600,000 hosts, and cut short Benedict's keynote remarks. He had just spoken in defense of marriage between man and woman (as opposed to homosexual ones). Who or what was in that whirlwind?
When John Paul II visited Louisiana in 1987, the stage blew over just before that event.
More wondrously, however: during World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002, a very dark storm approached as the Pope spoke. It was dramatic listening to his words on TV as the sun battled to break through a summer storm -- and soon did!
It was like something out of a Hollywood script, or like a prophet out of the Old Testament. There was John Paul II, speaking to the throngs of youth amid gusts of wind and claps of thunder. As dark clouds roiled over Lake Ontario, he spoke about the voice of the good drowning out the voices of evil, about the Spirit of God versus the spirit of this world, about light breaking through darkness.
It was his voice against that storm. We heard the very same thunder from where we were in Niagara. During his homily, John Paul II seemed keenly aware of the weather. He looked upward and hesitated a time or two when the weather volume was high.
"In today's Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians, Saint Paul tells us that Jesus leads us from darkness into light (cf. Ephesians 5:8)," intoned that Pope. "The 'spirit of the world' offers many false illusions and parodies of happiness. There is perhaps no darkness deeper than the darkness that enters young people's souls when false prophets extinguish in them the light of faith and hope and love. The greatest deception, and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility."
This day, he was not going to be drowned out by the thunder. This day, darkness would not predominate.
No, it was during this homily about and to the youth of the world that the clouds parted -- fled -- and the sun came strongly through.
[resources: You Live Forever and Sent To Earth]
[see also: Chapels with 600,000 hosts were destroyed and Youth emboldened by storm experience]
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