Hungry Souls, Supernatural Visits, Messages, Warnings from Purgatory, by Gerard Van Den Aardweg, a new and powerful -- and fascinating -- collection of actual,  well-documented cases during which the deceased made contact with the living seeking help in the afterlife -- the noises in the night, the Lutheran minister, no believer in purgatory, who learned about it by direct experience! CLICK HERE



This week, a little grab bag of mysticism.

Prophecy? Apparitions? Miraculous rose petals?

Let's start with this: How do we judge apparitions? When ratiocination fails to find a means, we tend to rely on our "gut reactions" (our spirits speaking). But which emotions should we heed?

Our advice is to disregard antagonistic reactions (angered, hot views, which often greet authentic apparitions, such as Fatima) and pay attention -- instead -- to mysterious resistance, if that's what you experience. Listen to a feeling of quiet resistance if it arises in your spirit after deep prayer but not to those thoughts (or people) throbbing with anger. Stay away from obsession -- whether for or against a visionary.

It makes for a good study in an era when there have been dozens if not even by now hundreds of similar visionaries (many controversial). What about when a seer himself (or herself) warns about false visionaries?

Again, we go to a Brazilian visionary named Pedro Régis, whom we have been taking a closer look at lately and who has "hit" a number of recent predictions.

On May 18 Pedro (who of course is himself currently under discernment) quoted Mary as telling him: "The devil wants to cause confusion in the Church, in your nation, and will continue sewing discord between the sons of God, deceiving with scandals, false signs, and false apparitions. A great number of my poor children will be victims of snares of the devil.

"The devil will continue to make false signs in your Brazil, with false stigmatas and tearful images. I am your sorrowful Mother and I suffer because of those who will give themselves to the devil and cause confusion in my poor children. God will charge those who deceive and contribute to the withdrawal of many of my poor children from the path of truth. Pray. Pray. Pray."

It certainly was an interesting message. And accuracy in a prophecy as has occurred with him at times is certainly a starting point on the positive side of the ledger -- although accuracy can also come from the wrong source (see: psychics). Thus are we cautious.

What about Pedro himself?

Can one seer discern others? Does an alleged gift of visions also imply the gift of discernment?

We'll have to wait on that. Questions have been raised over his predictions: are they prophetic in the style of accepted Marian apparitions and Christian prophecy? Having seemingly foreseen a specific disaster in Madeira, Portugal, the Gulf of Mexico fiasco, and the Haitian and Chile quakes, as well as some other events (and along with some misses), we note that on May 15 Régis warned of a potential attack on the Pope:

"Dear Sons and Daughters, I invite you to live the Gospel of My Jesus with joy, for only by accepting the teachings of Jesus will you be great in the faith. I know your difficulties and will speak to Jesus for you. Don't lose heart. When you feel the weight of the cross, call on Jesus. He is your great friend and will never abandon you. I am your sorrowful Mother. I suffer because of what is coming to you. The terrorists will attack the Church. They will attempt to destroy a temple, and My poor children will carry a heavy cross. Italy will be shaken by this sad event. Pray for the Church. Now is a time of sorrows. This is the message I give you today in the name of The Most Holy Trinity."

This is particularly interesting because it was exactly when it was learned that two men from Morocco were deported from Italy because they reportedly were plotting to assassinate the Pope.

But let's continue on this exercise in discernment and now we take a closer look (going beyond gut reaction to the facts in place). What do we learn?

The story about the would-be Moroccan terrorists did not hit mainstream Catholic channels until around May 20 (and many religious news services after that), which would make a May 14 declaration by Pedro seem startlingly prophetic. But the arrest had actually occurred at the end of April, and was reported two weeks later -- on May 14 -- by Reuters news service and a newspaper in Australia, which quoted a publication called Panorama as breaking the news that "a Moroccan student who was expelled from Italy in an anti-terrorism measure in late April wanted to kill the pope, according to an article set to appear in Friday's edition of weekly Panorama."

The Panorama report was on May 14 -- the same day Pedro conveyed a message about terrorists.

Did Pedro somehow see this? And due to the possibility, do we set this aside (without besmirching his integrity)?

His prophecies continue. On January 14 he quoted a message that said: "Death will appear in Guatemala and my poor children will carry a heavy cross." We see the recent storm, killing more than a hundred there (and leaving a huge sinkhole).

"The waters will be contaminated and in many regions of the world my poor children will carry a heavy cross," he quoted Mary as stating last November. He also had said a chastisement would be created "with our own hands." Was this another reference to the Gulf disaster?

Noted one viewer: "When I first read the message months ago, I did not understand what 'the waters will be contaminated' could mean.  In view of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it most certainly does fit."

But a struggle it is to come to a final determination! The same is true in the Philippines, where an apparition that began decades ago in Lipa is under renewed Church consideration (after initial rejection) and so is the alleged phenomenon of rose petals that seem to materialize with "etchings" of holy figures to various Filipinos. Rose petals were also associated with Lipa. Some say they are a fraud (religious medals pressed against the petals, to form an image) while others proclaim them as an outright miracle.

What about these rose petals? What about "glitter" that seems to fall from the sky in Latin American nations? Why do certain phenomena seem indigenous to particular regions?

We see how complex it gets -- along with evaluating predictions.

A grab bag here.

Our current take, as stated nearly two months ago -- when it comes to the prophetic: A sign of some kind in Europe will be followed by a huge calamitous one in the U.S. and then sometime later by a political or economic event that all will stagger us towards a simplification that may then begin in earnest. That was our guess. True or false? Was the "sign" the volcano and the calamity the oil spill? And if so, do we await a huge political or economic event? For your discernment.

[Resources: The End of This Era and Tower of Light]

[Michael Brown retreat in Pittsburgh: afterlife, prophecy, the Blessed Mother and our times, spiritual warfare]

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