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When quakes rock, and storms swirl, it tends to get prophetic juices going (especially in the nation's capital).

Quick we are to see much in such events. It is good not to jump the gun.

But to an extent -- an as yet undetermined one -- they do have meaning. They're part of an intensifying trend.

This week (8/24/11), even The Los Angeles Times noted that weather extremes have become the "new normal," while a science publication wondered something we first broached nearly a decade ago: whether hurricanes will grow to the point where another category ("cat-six") will be needed.

Amid the gyrations of weather and other events that grow and wane and then grow stronger -- at a time of upheaval, in society, as well as nature -- how much stock can we put into the locutions -- the interior prophetic voices -- that are still numerous out there?

Naturally, many jumped on the Tuesday quake -- which was felt from Atlanta to Toronto and caused a crack in the Washington Monument (along with damage at the National Cathedral). The question is whether it is really the Lord speaking or the locutionist's own innermost ruminations. By Wednesday night, those who believe they are in touch with a supernatural force were issuing messages about it. Such specificity is unknown to the vast majority of Church-sanctioned revelations.

Yet we'll keep an open mind because we believe in a general prophetic pulse that can be gleaned by drawing forth at times from such "words of knowledge," when those words -- more than taken literally -- are culled for their essence (looked at as a generality).

Years ago -- way back in 1953 -- there were reputed apparitions in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico (where the cloud photo at the top left was allegedly taken) to a number of youngsters -- apparitions that were controversial and have never been formally decided.

Looking back, there were certainly some interesting aspects to the "messages":

"The Church must always be open to all men on earth, because My Son died for all the sinners of this earth. At eleven oíclock in the morning, I visited you for the first time. I made you aware that the hour and time is very near. A very great danger is threatening humanity. My new children, be alert. Plenitude is what I desire. I will promise you My maternal protection.

"The prophesied times in which parents and children destroy themselves have arrived. Humanity is plunged in a great crisis of faith hardly noticed. Most men do not keep their Christian commitments. Driven by selfishness and pride they have fallen in the deceit of appearances and superficiality of human demands.

"The hour will come when the spiritual and moral deterioration of the shepherds of my Sonís flock will be a matter of public knowledge. The indifference of God's children will prevent them from seeing the great danger which lies in wait. The pain in My Heart will be all the more piercing, since it will be the sign that the time has come for making known the following message, 'Difficult and confused those times will be. Spiritual growth will become very, very difficult for the sons and daughters of God. There will come further times when such growth will seem almost impossible. So be alert My new children because your indifference and confusion will prevail along the way and throughout the world. Strange ideas and new philosophies will enshroud the true way in greater darkness."

There are pros and cons on that apparition, which had just four major messages; locutions are even more -- well, let us say, subject to scrutiny. Did not one recently popular prophet come forth months ago with the prediction of a huge "warning" for mankind occurring on a set date this month that already has passed?

"A new time is coming when it will be easier to hear me clearly," says another from the U.S. that links itself with a "Divine Mercy illumination" on August 21. "You will see when the time comes that quiet time is much sought after. There may be much peril in days ahead but I will still be present. I am always present to you if you look. Open your hearts now for now is the time of great mercy. No other time have I been this present to you. It is a gift that I give in my mercy. Look not far to find it, because it is present when you truly repent. Repentance is the way to my heart and mercy. Come now and truly follow me because I am here for you. Do not be afraid of times to come but rather see them as a time of true grace for my people."

They are interesting messages. Of course, caution. Test the spirits. Even the well-intentioned can be deceived. In fact, deception within the Church is a major sign of the time (as opposed to just discouragement).

Be careful when a prophet mentions a person by name (especially in the negative). Beware specificity: this can stray into fortunetelling.

Compare messages with the manner of language used at Lourdes and Fatima.

Meanwhile, there has been another stark message (8/25/11) from Medjugorje: "Dear children! Today I call you to pray and fast for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan. Here I began with this parish and invited the entire world. Many have responded, but there is an enormous number of those who do not want to hear or accept my call. Therefore, you who have said Ďyesí, be strong and resolute. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Couple that with an August 2 message to the seer Mirjana, which also mentioned evil, in a way that perhaps implied evil in an actual personage or groups: "Dear children; Today I call you to be born anew in prayer and through the Holy Spirit, to become a new people with my Son; a people who knows that if they have lost God, they have lost themselves; a people who knows that, with God, despite all sufferings and trials, they are secure and saved. I call you to gather into Godís family and to be strengthened with the Fatherís strength. As individuals, my children, you cannot stop the evil that wants to begin to rule in this world and to destroy it. But, according to Godís will, all together, with my Son, you can change everything and heal the world. I call you to pray with all your heart for your shepherds, because my Son chose them."


We get this from the mailbag (dream to a viewer in the U.K.: the Sacred Heart):  

"During the night of May 15 I dreamed that my sister and I were in a field and overhead was a dark and ominous cloud as if it was a storm cloud brewing and even following us. We were trying to cross a muddy field with a dirty trickle of water.

"There was burnt-out wilderness all around us on either side. We were looking for shelter and safety but it was a total wasteland and reminded me of the pictures of Hiroshima after the bomb with burnt out trees around and nothing else. It looked like a nuclear winter waste ground really.

"Then I heard public tannoys [loudspeakers] calling out, get ready, find shelter, the tornado is about to hit. Run, find shelter but there was no where to run to I thought and where was everyone else? 

"My sister and I started running over the muddy and burnt-out field and we came across a fence just waist high which hadnít been destroyed; it looked like the only thing to hold onto.

"I kept saying, 'If only weíd listened to the warnings. We were given so many warnings why didnít we prepare in time?' The fact we had no food or water stored up was worrying me.

"The tornado was starting to blow heavily and I told Marie to hold onto the fence with all her might, to hold tight as it was only thing around.

"Then as I grasped onto the fence I saw in the distance, over the fence, three men walking towards us. 

"The two Ďmení on either side were identical and very beautiful. I have seen them on occasions before in certain dreams. I felt the two men had gone to fetch the man in the middle and bring him to us as we were in real need and in dire straits.

"All three men were smiling at us and as they came nearer I realized the two men on either side were two angels I had seen before. However, I was captivated by the smiling man in the middle.

"Suddenly the tornado didnít seem that much of a big deal. The smiling man looked just like the Divine Mercy but more beautiful and radiant with light and he had a long robe on that was open at the chest. I saw beautiful flames coming out and he had a burning furnace in his chest. It was like a living walking picture of the Sacred Heart, even better than that. His beauty was breath taking and I felt such a love for Him in my heart.

"I realized it was the Lord very quickly to my huge relief and His Heart was on fire and words canít describe His peace and beauty and the peace of the flames coming out of Him.  

"The Lord walked right up to the other side of the fence opposite me and looked deep into my eyes with such love and acceptance (more than I had ever known on earth from anyone) and spoke to me without moving his lips. I too could speak to him without moving my lips.

"He was smiling and then He held out both His hands to me over the fence.

"I hesitated to take hold of His Hands as He looked so pure and holy and I was aware of being a mere creature in His presence, He was so majestic and awesome. Then He smiled and told me that as I received Him in Holy Communion (on the tongue) then it was no different and that I could touch Him.

"However, He said it pleased Him that I asked permission to touch Him and He would like me to do this silently before I received him in the Host in the future if I wished to do so but I felt perfectly free not to do so as well.  

"He was looking at me with such love and peace all the time I totally forgot everything else around me and all my troubles and worries.

"Then I let go of the fence and put both my hands in His and His skin was the softest I have ever felt -- like a thousand feathers; and I felt His power and peace at the same time go through me.

"The Lord told me of some personal spiritual things in a very gentle and loving manner; He was very delicate towards me.

"Then He smiled again and I thought I would die of happiness but then I suddenly remembered the tornado and my sister.

"Jesus explained that as we had been speaking the tornado had been raging and we were right in the eye of the storm. I hadnít noticed it because I was holding onto him and gazing into His eyes I had forgotten everything else around me but now I was worried about my sister.   

"As if the Lord could read my thoughts, He told me to look round over my shoulder. At that, I looked to my right and sure enough my sister was there holding on for dear life not to the fence but to my clothes. Her feet were off the ground in the wind and mine were as well.

"Holding onto Jesusí Hands meant we were still there and not blown away! I was relieved.

"I turned back to the Lord and thanked Him for keeping us safe in the eye of the storm. Then the Lord said turn around again and look closer.

"I turned round again and looked and I can hardly describe it.

"The wind of the tornado (spiritual or physical or both I am unsure) was so bad that I saw a line of people I couldnít count holding onto each other for dear life behind me.

"The wind was so bad not one person had their feet on the ground.

"If they werenít holding on to each other they would have been swept away.  

"Then I turned to the Lord and said 'thank you so much for holding both my hands so tight.'

"Jesus said 'Hold on tight because if you let go these others will be swept away too but with me you are safe even in the very eye of the storm.' 

"The message was clearly hold on tight and donít let go that other souls depend on our faithfulness too!

"Also I felt Jesus was showing me the responsibility to hold on tight and to pray that others will have the grace to hold onto each other in the storm and not let go or we let the others down and they get swept away with us.

"The strength of Jesus to hold us all was amazing I thought and He was so loving and peaceful at the same time.

"Itís hard to put into words how wonderful He was and the peace and the flames coming out of His heart and how responsible I realized we all are for each other.

"Maybe the tornado was spiritual, physical, or both maybe. It was very destructive though and there was waste ground and wilderness elsewhere.

"I was especially grateful to the angels for bringing the Lord to my sister and me in our need.  

"I pray to the angels every day and maybe this was their way of saying Ďweíre listeningí and that they are helping us all the time!"

[resources: Sent To Earth, Tower of Light, and  Prophecy retreat in Denver]

[see also: Are 'category-six' storms coming?]

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