Seven Days With Mary by M. Brown
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By Michael H. Brown

Yesterday (12/18) we got word of a fire at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in New York. We have been discussing purification, and this is another example. It's not popular to tie the judgment of God with recent events, but consider the fact that St. John the Divine -- America's largest cathedral -- was a haven for New Agers. We don't use that term loosely. One of the world's leading New Agers spoke from its very pulpit, and at winter solstice celebrations an "archdruid" saxophonist staged a celebration with gongs and a chorus of wolf calls in the cavernous (and now soot-covered) sanctuary. During Holy Week in 1984, this Episcopalian Church, seat of the bishop, displayed a bronze sculpture called "Christa," a nude woman on a cross. Back in 1992 the pastor, Reverend James Parks Morton, told me aspects of the New Age (at least as it pertained to eco-spirituality) were a "great organizing principle" for bringing people into religious experience. The cathedral housed an organization with U.N. ties called the Temple of Understanding. At the time they were working on uniting religions at a "spirit of the earth" conference. Two of its members, including a Catholic priest, had spoken at a gathering sponsored by an occult group once known as Lucifer Publishing. 

This is what was housed by the cathedral but now there was smoke rising from St. John the Divine and one wonders if America is going to get it. So far, it has not. We refuse to acknowledge heavenly reprimand. In fact, we have made it nearly unpatriotic to do so. But chastisement is all around us. It isn't just at the Pentagon or World Trade Center or South Dade County in Florida after Hurricane Andrew -- it isn't just in Northridge, California, where most of the nation's hard-core pornography studios are located (and where that quake hit in 1994) -- but is now pervading every circumstance. We are in the midst of a great spiritual struggle and are seeing suffering everywhere. How many there are who are ill, who are suffering great tensions, who are confused, who are lonely or scared.

Right after September 11, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson got in trouble for agreeing that the events of that day happened in part because our sin had caused God to withdraw His protection. They made an error in blaming groups by name (feminists, pro-choicers, the ACLU) when in fact we are all at fault; the evil, especially in our institutions, is rampant. But they were right that the U.S. had strayed from God's protective umbrella and we must recognize that we will see events like the fire at St. John the Divine consistently over the next few years as events continue to graduate.

Can we mitigate this? Consider the words of a nun who was allowed to give revelations from purgatory. This was in France in November of 1879. It was a Church-sanctioned revelation and she said: "Does not God Himself sometimes seem to change the order of His plans? For example, it may happen that God wishes to chastise a kingdom, a province, or a person. That is the intention He seems to manifest. But by prayers or other means taken by that country, province, or person to disarm God's anger, He may grant full forgiveness or a partial remission of His designs according to His infinite wisdom. Often He also allows events to be foretold, or He gives knowledge of them to some soul so that they may warn others and appease His vengeance. His mercy is so great that He only punishes in the very last extremity."

Unless we hurry back to the Lord, events will intensify on a regional level. We are in for years (if not decades) of purification. Yet you can protect yourself and your family by simply following what has been repeated so often: fasting, prayer, the 15-decade Rosary. We were amazed last summer and fall at how many were suddenly focusing on the crucial importance of all 15 decades. It is powerful against the enemy, and it shields our families!

Indeed, instead of waiting for the next shoe to drop (for the next spate of major world news) we should be noticing purification under our own roofs. How many are not afflicted with illness or family tensions or problems with money? How many are not feeling a cloud coming upon public thinking? How many are wandering now in a state of confusion?

This too is a sign of events: mental fog. The devil is working overtime clouding our thoughts and causing division. "The chiefs, the leaders of the people of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has bedimmed their intelligence," said the Virgin at LaSalette France. "They have become wandering stars which the old devil will drag along with his tail to make them perish. God will allow the old serpent to cause divisions among those who reign in every society and in every family."

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Yes! It's Jesus. And He's coming to us next week! We're able to join in a celebration of His Divinity  and urge Him to help us lift this fog as He did more than 2,000 years ago. Come Jesus! Pray to Him next week like never!

But we have to help ourselves, and we also have to recognize what is occurring before it graduates into a truly large disaster. Next time someone questions calling what is occurring a warning from God, find out how much of the Bible they have read -- and especially ask if they've ever read Isaiah or Lamentations. "How lonely she is now, the once crowded city!" says the latter, which mentions God's "blazing wrath" and how "from on high He sent fire down into my very frame."

Are you listening America? Are you listening St. John the Divine -- where your great bronze doors were flung wide open yesterday to belch out smoke, and where orange towers of fire leapt 40 feet into the air?

Are you listening, St. John the Divine, where inky smoke obscured your sanctuary?

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