Random Thoughts: Of Prophecy, A Red Moon And A Recent Scare With Asteroids
By Michael H. Brown
Last month I was flying back from the south and out the window spotted a huge blazing red object over city lights sprawling to my right. It was in the eastern sky, and I strained for minutes to see what it was. It was too high for something on a mountain, and too large -- far too large -- to be the blinker on an antenna.
It was more oblong (squashed at the top) than circular and I wondered if I was seeing things. In a moment I heard passengers behind me excitedly talking about the same thing. "What is that incredible red object?"
It was hovering over the horizon like a huge deflating beach ball and when I shifted positions I realized that it was the distortion of the airplane's windows that made it seem flatter than it actually was.
The object was the moon, flaming there in the dark night sky.
I had seen the moon turn red during an eclipse just last year -- a very similar color -- but there was no eclipse this time around and it was far brighter. It wasn't orange; it was blood red.
As soon as we passed the city, the moon immediately turned back to its normal color.
Smog? Hydrocarbons? An urban chimera? I don't believe that many things occur through simple chance, and while I'm not an expert on the effects of smog, I do know that Scripture speaks about changes in the moon when the Lord is ready to punish for evil (see Isaiah 13:10). I also was to realize that the city lights belonged to the nation's capital, Washington.
I guess it struck me because of late I have felt prompted in the spirit many times that our country is on the verge of a major upheaval or disruption of some kind, an "event." This year? The next? There is just this sense that something painful is on the way, and that it will really shake us. Terrorism? A natural disaster?
These things are not to be feared. We try to avoid them -- we do that through fasting and prayer -- but when they do come we accept them as purification. Such is the attitude of mystic Maria Esperanza, who without expressing a time frame says that a "lash" is in store for America.
I hear from others who have been similarly prompted, including one very spiritually perceptive man who recently awoke and heard the words, "Repent, America." Since this man has been known for miraculous healings and instances where the voice that spoke to him proved supernatural, we submit it all for your discernment. Others write us (and we invite you to do the same) about signs they have allegedly seen in the sky: the pulsing sun, signs in the stars, or formations in clouds.
Signs of the times?
Let us just note that in a cosmos where anything can happen, we must trust the Lord and place everything in His Hands. Only He knows! Just over a week ago headlines were ablaze with news that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California had come within minutes of advising President Bush to issue an asteroid alert.
"It could have been a scene from a B-grade doomsday movie," said one report. "Some of the nation's most respected astronomers weighed a call to top NASA authorities -- and ultimately the White House -- to say a large asteroid was streaking toward earth and could hit within days.
"The call was never made but the scene was real -- played out during a nine-hour crisis. Astronomers' information showed -- wrongly, as it turned out -- that a 100-foot asteroid had as much as a forty percent chance of crashing somewhere in the northern hemisphere with the force of a one-megaton bomb."
In other words, the force of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs.
When it comes to comets or asteroids, they can be pretty small and cause a world of damage.
What was unnerving is that we had not seen this object before. It ended up missing us by eight million miles -- which shows how much variance there is in calculation. Translation: we have no idea where or when an asteroid may hit, despite all the impressive facts and figures and projections that fill news columns.
I saw this myself when I visited the Jet Propulsion Laboratory some years back: the folks there admitted that they functioned on guesswork as much as anything. I was informed that there had been scares before -- times when astronomers thought we were ready to be hit (the very woman, Eleanor Helin, who found the first asteroids between the earth and sun told me this) -- and there are at least 100,000 asteroids out there that are twice the size of what scared everyone recently. In 1770 a comet suddenly appeared in the sky that was larger than the diameter of the moon! Meanwhile, on September 29, Toutatis, one of the largest near-earth asteroids known, will make its closest swing this century to earth.
I must admit, my inclination is that the U.S. is under judgment. You can discern why. Washington has had an interesting past year: storms, blackouts, even a tremor. Coincidences? My inclination is that soon we will experience some kind of event. Terrorism? An unprecedented storm? I'm not sure. Neither am I sure when. The point: it is only God Who knows, and it is only He Who protects us.
Signs Of The Time: Of Annunciation, Iraq, And That Song Called 'Bad Moon Arising'
By Michael H. Brown
Years ago, it was seers. Across the country, there were hundreds of those who claimed to see Mary and to receive "messages." They're still around, but the number in wide circulation seems to have plummeted, replaced, it would seem, by "signs."
Not just from the U.S., but from around the world do we receive numerous accounts from regular, non-visionary folks who believe they have seen something unusual in the sky: whether the sun or moon or clouds. I mentioned that in Mid-March -- flying back from Florida -- I saw an incredibly large, blood-red moon over Washington. It made me wonder if it was a portent.
Others have reported the same, and perhaps a hint of what it may mean came from two women I met last weekend from Avon, Connecticut. Their names are Harriet Scicchitano and Maria Consuegra, and they testified that on March 18, 2003, they had seen the same unusual moon during a trip to Medjugorje -- so unusual that the locals they spoke with said they hadn't witnessed a lunar display quite like that before.
March 18, 2003, was the eve of the Iraq war. Was there meaning in that? And what about that old song by the bluesy Christian band called Credence Clearwater Revival in the late Sixties and especially their big hit, Bad Moon Rising.
"I see the bad moon arising," they sang. "I see, trouble on the way. I see, earthquakes and lightning. I see, bad times today... I hear hurricanes a-blowing... I fear rivers overflowing. I hear the voice of rage and ruin... Looks like we're in for nasty weather. One eye is taken for an eye."
That's a pretty good prediction of the natural disasters, from the Mississippi flood to Hurricane Andrew, that subsequently followed, but I italicized "one eye is taken for an eye" because it relates to terrorism. An eye for an eye is the Muslim and Jewish philosophy represented every time we hear of a terrorist attack and anytime there are deaths as there was this week of the very sheik who founded the violent anti-Israeli group known as Hamas.
Does the bad moon tie in with future repercussions from that -- as well as Iraq? Does the moon portend natural events or another terrorist episode?
We're told by scientists that as the sun lowers, the distance traveled through the atmosphere increases, as does the scattering of light. The depleted unscattered light that reaches the eye makes the disc appear yellow to orange to red, depending on the number and size of non-gaseous particles in the air. If there is a lot of dust or smoke haze in the path only the red end of the sunís rays will remain unscattered, and even the scattered light becomes reddish.
That's the scientific explanation.
It is interesting to contemplate as we head into the thick of 2004 -- a year that in my view will present great grace before a period of difficult years and the signs that are prefiguring them. I feel that the United States is about to experience an event that will afflict everyone in some manner. I can't shake that. I know not the year.
I do know that there will also be amazing protection. Just as we receive many reports of signs in the sky that would seem to portend serious events, so do we receive almost countless examples of God's grace. We'll have a story on that soon.
Moreover, on this Feast of the Annunciation, let us recall the intervention of angels like Gabriel and the fact that it is now twenty years since Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested at Fatima -- leading to the collapse of Communism.
Fascinating it is that the Pope re-consecrated the world this week specifically because of terrorism.
Bear in mind the Mass reading today
Isaiah. It is especially relevant. "The Lord spoke to Ahaz,
saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether
world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, 'I will not ask! I will not tempt
the LORD!' Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us!'"
[Resources: The Day Will Come]
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