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It's time for a potpourri of items.

Let's deal with prophecy.

Can anyone know a date for famously prophesied events, from a so-called "illumination" of consciences to the Second Coming?

We know from the Bible that there is not a person around who can say when He is returning. Even Jesus while on earth was not granted that. Times and dates for any future event are suspect (unless, perhaps, they are part of an actual "secret"). There have been announcements by Mary as to when she would appear (see Fatima), but that was different. Meanwhile, the idea of an illumination (a global event that would cause everyone to see the state of his or her soul) may date back to a martyr, Saint Edmund Campion, who in the 16th century "pronounced a great day, not wherein any temporal potentate should minister, but wherein the Terrible Judge should reveal all men's consciences and try every man of each kind of religion."

The concept of a huge global event that would open the consciences of men -- what some have called a "miniature judgment" -- got further currency around the time of the French Revolution. From the end of the 1700s through much of the 1800s -- in the wake of severe Christian persecution -- seers began to repeat the prophecy of great coming events. One named Elizabeth Canori-Mora had a vision in 1825 in which "a great light appeared upon the earth which was the 'sign of the reconciliation' of God with man." In 1836 Blessed Anna Maria Taigi had a similar vision in which she foresaw that "a great purification will come upon the world preceded by an 'illumination of conscience' in which everyone will see themselves as God sees them." As pointed out by author Thomas Petrisko the prophecy has been claimed by many. "I will give them a special light," seers in Heede, Germany, quoted the Lord as saying. "For some this light will be a blessing; for others, darkness. The light will come like the star that showed the way to wise men. Mankind will experience My love and My power." These prophecies may tie in with signs seen by saints and popes. Saint Faustina envisioned a great luminous cross in the sky, and in the 19th century Pius IX saw something similar. "There will be a great prodigy which will fill the world with awe," he said. In recent times the idea of something in the sky got a boost from claims at Garabandal, Spain, where alleged seers spoke about what they called "The Warning." When I was writing The Final Hour one of the visionaries, Mari-Loli Mazon (now deceased), told me that she was given the prophecy of an event so powerful that it would seem like "the world is coming to a standstill."

It is for us to perpend, very cautiously. There may well come a great illumination in some sort of supernatural event -- I don't discount anything -- but we would also be "illuminated" if we woke up one morning to hear a newscaster report that NASA astronomers had spotted a large "long-term" comet coming from the blind side of the sun -- a comet that would suddenly just be there in the sky for all to see with no forewarning and with no one able to say whether or not it would impact the earth. Seeing or hearing about something like that would cause most people to examine their consciences!

The point: natural events can have prophetic importance.

What about those who foresee "earth changes"?

Here we have to be especially cautious. It is a term -- earth changes -- that is mainly used by those in the New Age. When their prophecies overlap with ones said to come from Mary, a flag of caution should wave in the wind. Dramatic? One New Age has the following list:

  1. The earth is going to be moved into a new orbit.

  2. We will have two of them will be blue.

  3. Every dam on earth shall be broken.

  4. Many volcanoes and earthquakes will be active.

  5. After the cleansing of the earth there will only be 25 or 30 people left out of each 100. We are becoming a 4th & 5th dimension planet and people. Those who wish to remain 3rd dimensional will be put on another 3rd dimension planet that has been prepared for them and is now on the opposite side of the sun.

  6. People who remain here after the change will have no disease, illness or be physically impaired.

  7. They will live to over 2,000 years if they wish to...

And so forth.

Crystals? Living two thousand years? A seer connected with that kind of prophecy has been on Shirley McClain's internet show.

Now comes one from Poland whereby a Catholic seer claims: "The Warning from God prophesied by Blessed Virgin Mary at Garabandal apparitions in Spain will take place on 19.09.2011."

If that's not specific (and soon) enough, the events listed in this "warning":

Before you run for cover, know that another European locutionist who has a sudden following recently had forecast huge events as occurring in August. Also: there is news just today that a pornography studio is constructing underground bunkers for events it anticipates in 2012.

This is hardly to dismiss prophecy, just to remember that we are called to caution. Major events do loom. And some of it may seem bizarre. In the "1990 prophecy" that we often cite was a strange premonition that "chastisements will differ according to regions, and like the great evil, will not always or usually be immediately noticeable for what they are. In the period also will be a warning that involves not fire from the sky but fear of fire from the sky, and strange loud rumblings."

For the past few years there have been consistent reports of inexplicable rumblings and booms, most recently in Windsor, Ontario, where they have been reported since February. "Windsor Rumble Intensifies: 'It was the loudest it's ever been,'" was the headline in the Windsor Star Tuesday, which went on to say, "It seemed as if the mysterious rumblings had subsided, according to Grete MaKenzie, but Sunday night through early Monday the low pitch humming came back with a vengeance."

In the spirit of discernment, here is an "message received via interior locution" and issued on a website calling itself "Divine Mercy Illumination":

"Our time is running short my child. When do you think it will be time for the renewal? It is now. It is a time of reflection, praise, and worship. I need those followers of mine to bow down and pray, for I need your prayers at this time. World leaders are conjuring up great evils upon mankind, and I need you to fight this with prayer. Close your eyes and see a vision of peace to come for all of mankind but this will come after great trials. When will this happen you say, after a time of great renewal. Be steadfast in your prayers knowing that I will bring this about. But for now I need you to turn away from sin. This means any and all temptation that comes your way. I will not dismiss even the smallest sins because they hurt mankind. When in doubt, deny yourself, and turn away from sin. Always look at yourself first in reflection. Know that I will always be here helping you turn away from these sins. Even the smallest inkling of temptation is one to turn away from. My Father knows how hard it is, that is why I am here for intercession. Hide yourself in my wounds.."

Just Wednesday, the Vatican beatified a mystic from Italy named Eleni Aiello -- although that sanction does not extend to her prophecies, which were very strong (beatification pertains solely to the sanctity of the person and how she that person lived).

Aiello at one point said she had a received a message from heaven that said: "Cry out until the priests of God lend their ears to my voice, to advise men that the time is near at hand, and if men do not return to God with prayers and penances, the world will be overturned in a new and more terrible war. Arms most deadly will destroy peoples and nations! The dictators of the earth, specimens infernal, will demolish the churches and desecrate the Holy Eucharist, and will destroy things most dear. In this impious war, much will be destroyed of that which has been built by the hands of man."

"Clouds with lightning flashes of fire in the sky and a tempest of fire shall fall upon the world. This terrible scourge, never before seen in the history of humanity, will last seventy hours. Godless persons will be crushed and wiped out. Many will be lost because they remain in their obstinacy of sin. Then shall be seen the power of light over the power of darkness."

From another apparition site, unattached completely from anything New Age, and quite low key:

"While in Medjugorje we had two small earthquakes," a viewer writes us. "One on August 15 the Feast of the Assumption at exactly 3:05 p.m. during the Divine Mercy. To me it sounded like a very loud noise in the sky, it was as if a big airline was falling from the earth and then a large rumbling noise, as if a very big truck was driving by, and the whole ground shook for eight seconds. The second earthquake took place on August 18 at 9:45 p.m. and it was a very loud sonic boom and then the ground shook and it lasted for about five seconds."

We can conclude in this little "prophecy update" by adding that a number of those who have visited Medjugorje report having the experience of "seeing" their lives in review, especially going up Mount Kricevac, the Holy Mountain, as in near-death experiences; it could also be called an illumination of conscience, which brings us full circle.

-- Michael H. Brown

[resources: Tower of Light, Sent To Earth, and Prophecy retreat in San Diego/ Special seminar in L.A.]

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