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Those who promote "global warming" -- as well as those who oppose the idea -- often miss the major point: that we are not so much in an age of either warming or cooling as we are in an era of extremes.

During one period it is unusually warm (and it has certainly been unusually warm during the past two decades, until recently) and during the next it is unusually cold.

In a time of extremes, we expect gyrations. A gyration is a swerving. One year or month there may be too much rain, and in the next period hardly any -- a drought. A few years back, there was so much rain in California that mudslides carried homes into the Pacific and motorists had to be rescued from flooded streets with surfboards. Now, the governor there has declared the worst drought in fifty years. There is imbalance. It reflects the spiritual realm.

The same in Africa, in South America, in China: in the 1990s, there was such severe precipitation that weathermen in Hong Kong issued "black rain" alerts. On the mainland, floods displaced millions. Now, there is an historic aridity in China also. It also happens with the economy: a tremendously affluent period is followed by what has started to resemble a depression. Call it the Great Recession (or regression).

One year a flood, the next a desert. When it's dry, it's dry; when it rains, it's the opposite extreme. One year -- or even for a decade -- the Northeast may feel like its climate has been permanently altered in the direction of warmth, only and suddenly to find itself in the midst of a frigid winter like the current one that hopefully is about to conclude.

In a time of extremes, it may not rain or snow for a long time, but when it does, it does so to excess. Tornadoes gain in velocity. Hurricanes intensify. Ice is thick.

Unfortunately, few have recognized these "signs of the times" because both sides of the debate over climate change have muddied the issue. It's not about cooling or warming; it's about the weather -- the climate -- gyrating. Yes, there have been unusually high temperatures, and they may soon resume. Or we may abruptly swing into a period of global cooling.

Either way, God seeks to speak to us through extremes. If we believe the Bible, we believe that He uses natural events.

The last time there was a period of extremes comparable to ours was during the high Middle Ages.

That too was a time of immorality; that too was a time of internal Church scandals; that too was a time of wanton materialism.

Huge hurricanes battered the southern U.S. Hail the size of eggs struck Europe. There were quakes in Italy (ringing church bells in Venice) as well as Greece -- up even to Germany. There was a miasma in India. A mountain collapsed in China (caused by a quake that created a large lake). There were even small asteroids that struck the Atlantic. There was bubonic fever, which soon erupted into a huge pandemic. Global warming swerved to global cooling.

And so we read the signs of the times and stop listening to those who don't see them for what they are, lest the blind lead the blind, their perception bedimmed.

"Again I ask you to stay awake and remain on guard, for a great day of change is coming and it will be known across the entire world," said an alleged message from Australia, in association with a famous weeping statue, if we can extract from it. "It is soon to begin and you will know by the sign in the East that it has begun.

"For those without belief, all shall seem to be nothing but death, destruction, and despair, but for those in the light it will be rebirth. This is not the time for you to be silent, for all must be awakened to the need for repentance. In a blink of God's eye, mankind will be simplified. These moments are not in the far distance."

We discern. We try to draw forth the truth. Those who follow Christ will find peace and joy even amid turmoil. Those in the royal palace will not escape purification. Whatever the case, we can take solace in a famous saying: "God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage."

Wrote the French preacher Father Charles Arminjon, author of The End of the Present World (and the Mysteries of the Future Life), "St. Paul teaches us that the world is an immense laboratory where all of nature is in great unrest and in labor until the day when, freed from all bondage and corruption, it will blossom out into a radiant and renewed order."

[resources: Tower of Light, and Father Arminjon's The End of the Present World]

[prophecy and healing retreats: Florida  and Michigan]

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