Secrets of the Eucharist by Michael Brown, Heart-felt reflections on the Holy Eucharist, fresh new insights, and miracles. What did Padre Pio say? How did saints adore? What's the "real presence"? Full of insights into the Mass, the most powerful prayer. One of our most popular and timeless books, along with After Life (by same author). For books autographed by Michael H. Brown, click here.
WHILE MAJOR EVENTS MAY LOOM, WHEN MARY COMES IT IS NOT TO SPECIFY TIMES AND DATES
Can exact dates be predicted? We ask for obvious reasons: the hype (though not as bad as expected) over December 21, 2012, which has been anticipated for years (by some) as signifying the end of a great cycle in the ancient Mayan calendar and thus forecasting the end of the world, or at least the end of our time period.
We don't think that mankind faces momentous events this Friday. Something could happen (as it can any day now), but when it comes to the apparitions and chastisements (not to mention "end times"), we don't believe that anyone knows the day or hour. Scholars point to 1,200-year-old Mayan paintings that were unearthed recently in Guatemala, artistic depictions of the way certain Mayan scribes believed the world will look seven thousand years hence (very simple lifestyle, people with just loincloths, close to nature -- like Indians, and like a prophecy by a famous near-death experiencer, Dr. Howard Storm, who described a similar reduction to simplicity).
That is believable. Major transformation and purification -- very large events -- are in the wind. Precise hours and dates, on the other hand, resurrect memories of "end-of-the-world-this-Friday-at-noon" scares in grade school during the Fifties or the hullabaloo over "Y2K" (which -- predictably -- did not pan out).
Has the Blessed Mother ever foreseen events at a specific time or on a specific day?
There may be dates in certain "secrets," but as far as those revealed at major apparitions (particularly Church-approved ones), the answer is no. The Virgin foresaw events, and sometimes the sequence of events (at Fatima, one war following another, and the second war after a great sign), but not according to a strict timetable (perhaps because circumstances are fluid and God's timing is just that: His). Events can be conditional. At Fatima, Mary had used phrases, in secrets there, such as "if people do not cease offending God." At LaSalette in France: "If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son." At the newly Church-approved site near Green Bay, Wisconsin: "If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them."
When times and dates have been specified, it mainly has been to announce the time or day she would appear next to the visionaries.
This was true at Fatima, when she told them she would be there on the thirteenth of each month. It occurred at Guadalupe, where the Blessed Mother told Saint Juan Diego when to return to see her. It happened -- a bit more vaguely -- at Lourdes, where the Blessed Mother asked Bernadette to come to the grotto for fifteen days.
It happened at Kibeho in Rwanda, where apparitions were announced in advance and where one young man said Jesus told him where and when to go for his apparition.
It also happened when Mary told three of the Kibeho seers the exact days they would be taken on "otherworld" journeys (during which they appeared to be in comas and even dead).
It happened at the Church-sanctioned site of Betania in Venezuela, where the date of the Blessed Mother's first appearance -- March 25, 1976 -- was given to mystic Maria Esperanza and where Mary later indicated the day a miracle would occur (which turned out to be the bleeding of a Host on December 8, 1991).
"You shall see me on the land you purchased," Mary had said.
This came to pass.
So did the sun miracle at Fatima, which it was indicated would occur on October 13 (the last major apparition).
At Fatima, the Blessed Mother did indicate that the beginning of a major war would occur during the pontificate of Pius IX, but that was quite a generalized time period.
It reputedly happened at Medjugorje in Hercegovina, where Mary told seers where and when to see her on many occasions, particularly six-forty each evening. One seer named Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo has stated that a secret she was given about a "sign" has "a specific date and time" and that she knows "the exact day and hour."
In other alleged cases, Mary has given hints or riddles of the precise dates when major happenings may transpire, but at this point these are not Church-approved situations.
Precise time-frames as well as overly long prophecies with unusual specificity are normally wise to hold at a distance.
There will be some hoopla this Friday. Hopefully, not too much. Unfair though it may be, errant times and dates discredit the entire idea of the prophetic, which is certainly legitimate, if we believe Luke 21 and Matthew 24. Even there, timetables were mixed with what would occur soon (destruction of the Temple) and what would be a greater distance (greater tribulation, perturbation of the sky, the coming of the Son of Man) in the future, which is going to be exciting and challenging enough as it is.
[resources: Tower of Light; also: Michael Brown pilgrimage, Medjugorje]
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