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To know that our Church takes "signs" seriously (or used to), one has only to recall that in the third century Fabian was chosen pope when a bird -- a dove -- flew in and settled on his head.

The gathered clergy and laity took this as a sign that Fabian had been anointed, and he was raised to the Throne of Peter by acclamation.

That was circa 250 A.D. Things have changed since. Are there still signs? Barack Obama was inaugurated the day after Martin Luther King Day and just before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

What to make of that? What to make of many manifestations? Most seem to have to do with light. It is as if the forces of nature are used by the Lord to send a message, when it isn't simple coincidence (if you believe in happenstance). During prayer, did you ever see a beam of sunlight play upon a statue or prayer book or other object with special prominence? (Let us know your experiences.)

At the top of this page, one can view photos of bright reflections that form what seem like "angels." The picture to the left was taken on a video monitor at a hospital at the precise point when a child began to make a miraculous recovery in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her mother and the nurses saw it. Meanwhile, a strikingly similar reflection was recorded in a photo of John Paul II's plane landing in Baltimore in 1995 (top, right).

Many lights are recorded at churches, especially during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament or Mass. To the left, a light shines in very noticeable fashion at a church in New Orleans that is known for a miraculous shrine dedicated to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Visit this place!

Meanwhile, to the right, ice on the back window of a van reflects light that looks -- again -- a bit like angels. It arrived around Christmastime, and so naturally the mind was on the gathering of angels. Is it all how we view things? Or does God hide behind nuance? On occasion can they be from deceptive spirits?

Many times, rainbows or beams of light from the sun seem to mark poignant moments during events such as funerals. It is similar to how numbers and dates seem to speak to us at times. So do shadows. We see (below, to the left) what appeared around last December 14 as an altar panel was being prepared for Christmas Novena Mass by a Filipino Divine Mercy group in the Middle East. As a correspondent points out, a volunteer was inspired to take photos of the altar while it was still under construction. Later, one of the pictures was found to distinctly show the sad-faced Jesus with the shadows.

A priest and the group working on the altar were shown the image from the digital camera itself and all agreed that there was "a very important, serious and urgent message that Heaven wanted to convey." God created nature. Why wouldn't He use it?

But, again, it isn't always easy to discern the message.

Reflections show up even on the political front.

What to make of that?

Is it simply a case that when enough photos are taken, some will seem unusual?

We discern. We unravel. We wonder at the mysteries.

[Let us know your experiences]

[resources: The God of Miracles]

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