By Michael H. Brown
‘SIGNS OF THE TIMES’ EXTEND BEYOND CALAMITIES AND INCLUDE MIRACULOUS HEALINGS AND DARK SOCIETAL EVENTS
“Jesus said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Luke 12:54).
This is a reading that our society in general should read (and often).
For Jesus is not just speaking about signs in events, nature, and calamities.
When he mentions “the present time,” it would seem, He is speaking about the culture — the societies of men.
And there, as a “sign,” we see crisis.
This present time.
While we’re in a lull (with events such as hurricanes), there’s a feeling of the calm before the “storm” and the darkness that overshadows our culture continues to intensify.
To wit: in the U.S. there is a leader who says “God bless you” to abortion-providers and a Congress paralyzed in its own extremes and a Supreme Court that gave the green light to the marriage of homosexuals and a military that allows now wiccan (witch) chaplains (and makes it an option to have “so help me God” in the Air Force oath) and an extremely prominent New Age author running for office and the state of California allowing now even non-physicians to do abortions: such a litany of bizarre crimes and fantastic materialism and destruction of nature and virulent public discourse and such extensive circumstances in the entertainment industry that they can not be readily synopsized.
Anyway, doing so would be oppressing.
Yet, it is the truth that sets us free. Yet, these too are signs.
So is the Blessed Mother, whose manifestations continue to proliferate, even as many treat them as blasé.
We don’t know yet how the Church will discern Medjugorje — one of the places where the Virgin Mother is cited (apparitions to one seer were cancelled at two New England churches, ostensibly after communications from higher Church authorities, at the same time the Vatican sent an invitation “to the Shrine of Medjugorje” for participation in Marian Day two weeks ago) — but it was at Medjugorje that the Virgin Mary said “darkness covers the whole world” and that this is the time of crucial battle.
The same is indicated by her elsewhere. Statue miracles continue to be reported, including in connection with that recent quake in the Philippines.
Could it be, truly — as reported — that a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Philippines was found turned around on its pedestal — back to the people, with a darkened robe — after that disaster (as one newspaper reported).
Notes a blog: “The most profound sign came from the most visited Marian Shrine in the Philippines on the island of Cebu, called Mama Mary shrine. There is a large, miraculous statue of Mary in this shrine, that has cried and cured many pilgrims. In the same church there is another statue of Mary, that appears to be Our Lady of Fatima. It has a base with the word ‘Portugal’ on it. This base is continuous with the statue. They are one piece. The base cannot be detached from the body. Otherwise the statue would be broken into two pieces. Here is the great miracle, which seems to be a message, a warning from Our Lady of Fatima. Right after the earthquake, pilgrims noticed and cried out in alarm that this statue had changed. Mary was now facing the wall, with her back to the people. But, the base itself, molded to the body of the statue, was still facing forward with the ‘Portugal’ inscription!”
Many have been the places where — as another sign — Mary has healed (through her Son).
In Corpus Christi is a revolving sixty-two-foot Cross and a replica of Jesus’ Tomb of the Resurrection where according to a daily newspaper the Blessed Mother once appeared in a flowing green cloak in 2007. The Cross towers from a cross-shaped fountain once blessed with Holy Water from the Jordan River.
These too are “signs.”
They cannot all be products of the imagination.
It’s not up to God to prove Himself to us. It’s up to us to prove ourselves to Him.
“I was speechless,” said Juan Carlos Martinez of the apparition. “It was a beautiful experience, and I feel such peace here working through the evenings that I don’t want to leave this place.”
His brother says he experienced a miracle at the fountain of water. It’s located on a 50-acre property on County Road 37 near Saratoga Boulevard. The land was owned and the shrine built by a local attorney who has since died.
Reported the Corpus Christi Caller: “Victor Martinez, who is helping shape and place the more than 700 cantera stones quarried in Mexico that make up the tomb, was wearing a brace on his swollen knee and dragged his leg while working. Victor cried at night from the pain, his brother said. Before beginning on the tomb the brothers were laying slate tiles around the fountain, and Victor pulled up his pant leg, reached into the water and patted his knee with it. Soon the swelling diminished, and he began moving vigorously without pain, he said.” A priest connected to the attorney, Albert Huerta, tells us that “there were several reported miracles at the site. It used to be a rock concert place turned into a religious center, with ‘prayer warriors.”
“Many miracles were reported through the healing water,” says Alfredo Zapata, who is the diocesan coordinator for the charismatic movement. “The fountain isn’t working right now. There’s no water in it, and it’s closed to the public for now. But there were many, many miracles.”
There in Corpus Christi, years before, had been a statue in a home that supposedly was an agent of healing (as well as “messages”).
This south Texas community is one of America’s foremost “hotspots” of Marian devotion; for that reason, we plan a retreat there, God willing, in February.
Jesus said that healing and casting out demons would be a “sign.” Hopefully, the closure of holy places and restrictions on the miraculous isn’t another.
“Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us,” says Romans 8:18-25. “For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God…”
[resources: Fear of Fire]