For Your Discernment: Does
Housewife in Minnesota Hear in Ear Voice of the Lord?
By Michael H. Brown
Often, I'm at a loss to know what to make of locutions and during the past ten years have not read many of them -- overwhelmed, as one can be, with "messages."
Many seemed too long, or too dire, or too repetitious; or perhaps it was just that one tired of waiting for the dramatic events to happen.
Was it really the Holy Spirit speaking? A person had to constantly ask this question, and have faith that the best defense was fasting, daily Mass, and prayer. I would be careful about even approaching these matters without those three components, and even then, of course, the most well-intentioned can be deceived. Priests are especially targeted.
One I did focus upon was a prophecy that serves as the foundation for Tower of Light. That was because elements of it already had come to pass -- had turned out accurate -- and because it was packed with power, saying many things on different levels in relatively few words. That's known as "economy of language," and can be seen in messages from such places as Fatima: every word counts.
In my opinion, such is a standard of discernment.
Are there exceptions? Are there lengthy, repetitious messages that should be considered nonetheless?
Recently I have taken a look at a set of such alleged missives because they seemed to tie in mysteriously in a number of ways with the Tower prophecy, and because a priest who serves as the spiritual director for the recipient informs me that the messages have been read or at least reviewed in some fashion by officials at the Vatican, who, he said, encouraged their dissemination.
The priest, no doubt, is a fine one: Father Joel Cycenas of Minnesota, who is currently at St. Joseph's in Taylor's Falls. He informed me that the locutionist is a 31-year-old named Jennifer who is the mother of four children and prefers that her last name not be used.
What caught my attention and caused me to take a closer look is that Father Cycenas says he has accompanied her and her father to Rome on two occasions -- and specifically the Vatican (where they found themselves, against all odds, in the inner sanctum, in a way they strongly felt was orchestrated above) -- and that the messages have been given to Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, and Monsignor Pawel Ptasznik, who was head of the Polish Section in Vaticanís Secretariat of State. "Monsignor Pawel said the Pope read them," asserts Father Cycenas. "He gave us the thumbs-up and said the Pope looked at them and [Pawel] said to Jennifer, 'get them out there. This is a message the world needs to hear.'
"You have to be skeptical at first," says Father Cycenas. "She was telling me some things and I was skeptical but when I met her there was humility. I feel comfortable and confident and convicted that these are coming from the Lord."
We will leave that to your discernment. There is no telling how much time Pope John Paul spent with the messages. He was handed dozens of message books, perhaps hundreds, during his pontificate, and indeed was open to certain of them -- most notably those of Medjugorje. He allowed the approval of Betania, Venezuela, and Kibeho, Rwanda -- both with rather dramatic prophecies -- and met privately with Ukrainian mystic Josyp Terelya on several occasions. He also met with a seer from Medjugorje. His openness to messages alleged to be from Jesus or the Blessed Mother can be traced at least to his involvement as the Polish Cardinal who lifted the restrictions on the equally dramatic messages of Saint Faustina, whom he later canonized.
Another aspect that caused me to take a look at the messages is that the Minnesota woman explained to me that these are not interior or "inner" locutions, but rather a voice that she hears in her physical ears, in an auditory fashion, as she hears any other person. Such are rare and are known as auricular locutions. They are interesting because an interior locution is extremely difficult to differentiate with a person's own interior thought process, where a voice in the ear, as a physical sound, is unmistakable.
But does that make it good? Does that make it from God?
It makes it worthy of further discernment and in that spirit we see that Jennifer claims the Voice is that of Jesus. That's up to your judgment.
"In April of 2001 while I was at Mass I began to hear the words, 'Come to Me,'" recounts the Minnesota housewife. "These words continued to repeat. I was wondering who was whispering in my ear, yet it did not sound like a whisper. The voice that I was hearing was a man's voice, but very soft and gentle."
After Mass, she asked her husband if he heard it also, and he said no. But every subsequent Sunday she heard the voice, and the closer she came to the Eucharist -- Communion -- the stronger the words were. Above the altar, the Crucifix came alive for her.
"After a couple of months of putting it off and not telling this priest the words that Jesus gave me, it was placed on my heart so heavily one day that I needed to speak with this priest," she says. "So I called him and told him that this will most likely be the strangest phone call you will ever receive, but I am hearing this voice that told me that I am supposed to call you and tell you these words. His response to me was, 'How soon can you come into my office?'"
In July of 2001 Jennifer asserts that when she asked who he was, the answer was, "I am He Who came to shed the sins of the world." And so for our purposes here we will use the upper case "He."
Now onto the crux: The messages were serious. Some discern deceptive ones as being those that offer no hope. These are serious, although perhaps not dire. That is another matter for discernment. If they cause fear, we must be wary. God is not a God of fear but a God of love -- albeit at times tough love. Jesus could be very serious -- was often very serious.
Is that the case here?
The messages, says Jennifer, are about "the warning to come." They are about the current "turbulence" in the world, which she says she was told is already part of the "chastisement."
And off we go from there. As of March 19, 2007, she had received 1,700 messages. She no longer gets public ones. Those she has recorded constantly repeat the theme of major coming events due to sin in the world -- especially abortion, which the Lord told her is the greatest of all sins and will cause the earth to react against us.
"Pray," He said, in messages that we here present as composites, "for I will soon shake this earth. The time will come when there will be no light. The time will soon come when all will be brought to their knees.
"My child, darkness will soon cover this earth. The only light will be that of My love. Those who are not lost in darkness will see My Light and witness My love for them.
"Each soul is a perfection of My creation. Each soul has a mission.
"Too many are ruining My creation. Too many are trying to control nature. The earth is showing signs of man's sinfulness and yet many do not wake up.
"My people, do you see the signs?" He supposedly said in September of 2004. "For some they appear to be small and yet, in time, you will see My Father's wrath has slowly begun to awaken mankind.
"Just as I told Noah that a great punishment would come to My people for their sinfulness, I am again warning My people to repent and change their ways because a great chastisement is going to come and all will need to be in a state of grace.
"You are witnessing storms and fires and yet this is just the beginning," say the messages -- contained in a thick volume entitled Words From Jesus and distributed without charge from a website dedicated to the alleged revelations.
"My people, you must not fear, for My angels will lead you to your place of refuge, but it is important that you follow the signs.
"The days are growing shorter and great light shall soon fall upon mankind.
"Nations will rise and crumble and you will see a great collapse in your financial institutions.
"My Church will be cleansed of its filth when I weed out those who are not My true chosen sons. Those who have failed to fulfill their own selfish desires will see each and every soul they have neglected.
"Go forth and cleanse your soul, for the hour is drawing closer before the awakening of mankind.
"My people," He said in August of 2004 -- bringing to mind recent messages from Medjugorje, "take heed to the signs, take heed to the times in which you live.
"Mountain tops will awaken and the rock of the earth will split," Jesus is quoted as saying -- a theme that is then harped upon: that we are coming into a time of quakes and especially volcanic activity.
"My people, the mountains that have been sleeping will soon be awakened and it will ripple all across this world. Nations will soon rise up against one another, for this country that I have blessed with many fruits will be awakened by great fire, and ash will cover the valleys and the seas will no longer be calm."
Even mountains deep in the sea, she was told, will be "awakened."
"I come to warn you that vessels that have been sleeping will soon awaken, sending great fire and ash.
"My creation is no longer My Creation in the eyes of man, for it is man that believes he is dictator of his own destination. It is because of the blood of the innocent that you will be plagued with great trials and suffering.
"The forces of evil will rise from the ports of the sea and will present the mark of the beast.
"My words of warning have come to the time of expiration. Streams of light will soon pour forth from Heaven and shine into the souls of mankind. My people, those of you who stand for man engaging with man and woman with woman are a witness to evil. Those of you who choose to take away life at any stage are a witness to evil. Those of you who commit adultery and choose to destroy a marriage that is united in Me will see your hour of judgment.
"Those of you who choose to idolize money and power will come to see that your ways are not My ways and your ways will become simplified.
"My words are soon to expire, for the wall that holds back the seas will soon come down. You will be culminated in ash and darkness," the messages repeat again. "My people, this world will no longer be as you have come to know it. All must prepare for the time is drawing near."
And here we can break in to note the similarities to the prophecies in Tower of Light -- whether or not they are from the same source, and whether or not Jennifer may have heard snippets of them.
In the 1990 prophecy, it was said that , "Soon the world will not be the world you know. I am not speaking of a barren world, or one depopulated, but of the end of your technological era. Many inventions of mankind will be broken down and there will be more of a peasant attitude and way of life everywhere" -- a simplified way.
It was said in the 1990 prophecy that there would be "loud rumblings" -- as Jennifer too heard a number of times that there would be geophysical disturbances.
In the 1990 prophecy, it was claimed that Jesus would present Himself in a "towering light," and Jennifer says she heard a description of Him coming -- or manifesting, in some fashion -- in "radiant splendor."
Just another prophecy as there have been such prophecies of Christ's return for centuries? Is it but for itching ears?
As in Jennifer's locutions, there was a heavenly complaint in Tower about the way man has treated nature -- a theme recently taken up by Pope Benedict. There was mention of plague, as too in these reputed locutions. There is the mention of a time of chaos, as also in the 1990 missive, while these too bear similarities in constant use of the word "awakening" with the published messages of Venezuelan mystic Maria Esperanza.
And there was the Tower prophecy that said, "When the huge light is seen, I will act in a way I have not acted before" -- a notion brought to mind with the locutions from Minnesota when it is said that "you will see the sign coming out of the east.
"You will see storm after storm and just as one finishes another will rise," said a message from August 3, 2004 -- just before an historically active hurricane season in Florida -- whereby some areas were hit more than once -- and a year to the month before "Katrina."
Just before the Asian tsunami of December 26, 2004, Jennifer quoted Jesus as saying, "The sea will awaken and it will ripple all across this world" -- an allusion to an event that may as yet be in the future but curious coming as it did on December 5 -- three weeks before the historic tsunami and two weeks before the second prophecy in Tower of Light.
Structures, said Jennifer, quoting the Lord, would "come tumbling as the roar of the lion intensifies" -- interesting in that Maria Esperanza identified the terrorist behind September 11 as "a roaring lion" before the name Osama Bin Laden was widely known and before we discovered that in some translations "Osama" means "roaring lion." Of course, the lion is also a symbol of the devil.
Before delving into such messages, we recommend, as always, deep prayer and fasting. To avoid fasting before opening up to alleged supernatural encounters is to invite trouble. Spirits can attach to seers and their messages, as well as those who draw close to them. We are told by Scripture not to despise prophecy, but to take from it what is good, after we have tested it -- meaning that prophecy is not to be accepted wholesale, but discerned, from message to message, as we recognize that humans are fallible.
But there is certainly a widespread sense -- even among those with no mystical inclination -- that our times are special and that events are down the road, unusual events, good and bad, dark and glorious.
"My people," Jennifer quotes the Lord as warning, "so many have begun to keep a watchful eye to the sight of many earthquakes, yet you do not realize that the great shifting of the earth will come from a place that has been sleeping.
"This earthquake will cause much chaos and destruction and it will come and catch so many off guard, for that is why I have told you to take heed of the signs.
"Your winter will rise with great force and for some it will present times of hardship."
"When you see the sign of light come from the east, know that the Son of Man is about to come and awaken your soul," it repeats, echoing prophecies of a great light along with the concept of an unusual darkness that first came from nuns in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
In a vision Jennifer asserts that she saw a darkness during what seemed like the afternoon. "I see the sky opening up and I can hear long, drawn-out claps of thunder. When I look up I see Jesus bleeding on the Cross and people are falling to their knees."
This was another irony: the cover of Jennifer's book has a cross in the sky as does Tower. Just a reflection of past prophecies, such as those of Divine Mercy (and Sister Faustina)? Old concepts of three dark days? Does it mean anything?
"It is in the calmness that mankind will be caught off guard." Right now, she seemed to be relating, the Lord is working gradually. There is a deliberate but gathering force. "One by one, I will send forth signs that man will not be able to justify," Jennifer quoted Christ as telling her. "The bells of My Church will be silenced," He added -- an ironic remark in light of a recent story about a church in Scandinavia that was ordered by a court to halt the ringing of its bells.
"Behold these times which you have been given, for your time of warning is near."
"I could see millions of people from nations from all the lands," said Jennifer at 3 p.m. on Christmas Day in 2004 --the day of the tsunami. "Many seemed confused as they were looking up toward the sky."
Fear of fire, as the 1990 prophecy foresaw?
Those who fear, said Jesus, allegedly, "fear only themselves." The devil, Jennifer told me, "uses the mind to trick the body to trap the soul." There is no greater offense, she quoted Christ as saying, "than to take the life of My unborn."
"The storm is on the horizon" -- and so forth, repeated often over 447 pages, by a woman who -- whatever one's discernment -- is sincere and a mature Catholic, from a family of nine children, with a devout dad who first alerted us. She says that previous to receiving the messages, she was not acquainted with other such prophecies.
We always issue strong cautions because we have seen the wrong kinds of spirits latch onto those who receive such "words" and also onto those who become involved with them. One must always to be on the watch for evil or familiar spirits. They too can speak to us -- in the mind or ear.
But we are also mindful that we ignore prophets at our own risk.
After decades of warnings, is the time of warning really about to expire?
Let us say this: a great darkness is coming. In many ways, it is already here. But so too, in some way, some day, will come a great Light.
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