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 possible. One of our most popular books. CLICK HERE



What is in store for us? Or perhaps the better question these days: what are we storing?

All of us are blessed to live in a time of purification. That means simplification, and we should welcome it. It's the way of the manger. Only through divorcing ourselves from the materialistic mania of the past thirty years will we start back to the path of Jesus.

Let's face it: we reached an extreme -- everyone was "rich," everyone could afford a new car (or an SUV, every few years), everyone threw items away after a few uses, everyone had all they could eat (to the point where the biggest health problem among our poor was obesity) -- and now we will experience the opposite.

What goes up must come down and God has been incredibly gentle and patient in trying to nudge from a path that we saw as "prosperous" and thus "good" but that too often was actually wayward (out of accord with His Plan). We were trying to recreate and reshape and complicate everything He made -- or through our greed were destroying it.

Capitalism only works when it is Godly capitalism -- which puts others (and God) first. Our undoing has been materialistic capitalism (propelled by rabid consumerism that the Vatican has constantly sought to discourage).

An economic trends analyst, Gerald Celente of Upstate New York, predicts that by 2012, we will have witnessed the end of the "retail Christmas." After a false lift for a couple of years (perhaps in response to government infusions of money, which may take us halfway back), we will see a great retraction and breakdown during which we'll go back to making hand-crafted gifts instead of the current way of malling the holidays; there will be more localism, family, and community.

And so we head back in a way that some call a "depression" but should depress no one. There are a few excellent trends: people are looking more toward items that last a long time (let's all pray for the end of throwaway cameras); patronizing second-hand stores; repairing clothes; and wasting less food. Make this holiday season a delightful one with delicious food but little in the trash.

When we are asked what we should do to "prepare" for coming times we say that when God acts it is in a way that transcends preparation -- if that preparation is meant to avoid a cleansing. There is no way to totally secure oneself against the various eventualities that will arrive. Instead, we should approach it by praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance, having enough food and water to last in an emergency (one to four weeks, in case such comes, and to at least give us a start), securing our homes against intrusion, and looking toward alternate transportation, in the event an alternate is necessary.

In the event. Please note that we try to be cautious. We are not running for the hills. There are no bunkers. What is one to do? Although going back to individual farms or at least growing some of our own food would go a long way toward lessening future impacts (and we greatly encourage this), an escape to the countryside may not always be the answer when the future could bring a time when you can't get seed or fuel for that countryside or even find your way there.

Rely on God. Rely on community.

It really is a joyous time. Dramatic? Time will tell. Celente, of the Trends Research Institute, who is often featured on networks like Fox Business, CNN, and ABC, correctly predicted the meltdown in subprime mortgages and now foresees that by 2012 America will become "the first undeveloped nation of the world." There will be another "tax revolution," marked by "food riots," "squatter rebellions," "tax revolts," and "job marches."

"We're going to see a whole change of the Christmas spirit," he says. "No more of this obligatory gift buying. So maybe we're going to get back to the holy meaning of the holiday. That would be a shock, wouldn't it?  Less people going to the mall, more local shopping. And more of the gift giving of making things -- exchanging foods [making cookies]. We're going to see the beginning of the end of the retail Christmas. You know, they just invented this maybe a hundred years ago. It wasn't always like this. We're going to see a mental shift take place, where people don't do the Christmas shopping they used to.  Putting food on the table is going to be more important than putting gifts under the Christmas tree. We're going to go into the worst depression since the great depression -- worse than the Great Depression."

It sounds over the top. People are still flocking to the stores and retail "plunged" four to eight percent this season (not really a plunge like there can be a plunge), but one can also point to the forty percent drop in stocks, which is the greatest drop since 1931. Things are rapidly changing.

Americans, Celente claims, are going to "take a hit like never before" -- especially those many with "McMansions" -- as America goes through a profound transition.

$14 trillion of consumer debt. Trouble in commercial real estate.

Don't spend a penny more than you can afford. Have your kids go for a career that actually produces a product (or a truly valuable service).

Seek inner purification.

To purify is to be cleansed of what is unhealthy and what deters us (spiritually).


If you have a deeper meaning of life, says this trends "guru," things will not change much for you.

We agree.

The only preparation you need is holiness.

[see also: Video: money guru predicts 'end of retail Christmas' and Ron Paul warns on martial law and Mormons preach self-reliance]

[resources: Food Jesus Ate and Houston retreat: Michael Brown on miracles, prophecy, current times]

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