Politicians Join Archbishop In Calling A Storm A Prophetic Event, Joined by Seers
By Michael H. Brown
I don't get to see television very often, but from I understand a state senator from Alabama, Henry E. "Hank" Erwin Jr. [left], was pilloried the other night in one of those programs where the name of the game is pillorying.
In this case it was for Senator Erwin's view that Hurricane Katrina was God's response to the "gambling casinos, sin, and wickedness" of the Gulf and the senator was attacked by both "left" and "right" for that "radical" viewpoint.
It is curious how frenetically the devil attacks notions of chastisement. Sin and wickedness? "It is the kind of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God," Senator Erwin had the nerve to say in a nation where even the churchgoers have forgotten what it says in the Bible.
In New York, a discussion among Protestant theologians led by Bill Moyers seemed to purvey the collective discernment that the hurricanes were no chastisement because -- said one participant -- the Lord would not have done so without warning.
Without warning? How many times have we received warnings! "Warnings year after year by godly evangelists and preachers went unheeded," wrote Senator Erwin for a column in a local paper. "So why were we surprised when finally the hand of judgment fell? Sadly, innocents suffered along with the guilty. Sin always brings suffering to good people as well as the bad. America has been moving away from God. We all need to embrace godliness and churchgoing and good, godly living, and we can get divine protection for that point. The Lord is sending appeals to us. As harsh as it may sound, those hurricanes do say that God is real, and we have to realize sin has consequences."
Meanwhile, back in New York, Moyers made the point that it's dangerous to "read the Bible as literally true," and this report comes at the same time that bishops in England, Wales, and Scotland reportedly advised their flocks not to take the Good Book as an historically accurate document, including the predictions of Revelation.
Fortunately, other Protestants, including Franklin Graham, son of Billy, have differed:
Shortly after the storm hit New Orleans, Graham said, “There's been Satanic worship in New Orleans. There's been sexual perversion. God is going to use that storm to bring a revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose.”
Such is also emphasized by Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, who led the New Orleans archdiocese for 23 years and is still such a visible figure that many refer to him as the "pope of New Orleans." He called the hurricane a "Divine chastisement" and urged Catholics to make sure that others -- especially children and grandchildren -- understood God was sending a message; only if we do, he said, will we correct what he called our nation's "low level" of morality.
Ah: no wonder the devil's frenzy!
The same view was expressed by New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas -- who said that "maybe God is going to cleanse us."
And then there is former Louisiana state senator, Judge Fritz Windhorst -- a solidly Marian lawyer who has a home near the New Orleans airport and had recently sold a vacation home in Gulfport -- which was destroyed during Katrina. "A lot of people are now talking about chastisement around here," he told me. "The ones who may have been laughing at the idea of an imminent one aren't laughing anymore. It's obvious."
Father Robert Guste, of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Kenner, said that the lewd homosexual festival, Southern Decadence, the rampant pornography and gambling and the brazenly blasphemous activities surrounding the annual Mardi Gras, a festival renowned for its mockeries of Christian symbols, may have suggested divine punishment, according to the Catholic website, Lifesite.net.
“Does this not invite Divine judgment?” Guste, 78, asked. When he was asked if New Orleans will ever be the same, he replied, “I hope not. I hope and pray it will be a better city.”
Indeed, those who have been hit or brushed by hurricanes seem to have more of a sense of such than others, although a recent poll by ABC (if we can believe secular polls) says that 23 percent, or about 68 million Americans, believe that the hurricanes were a "deliberate act of God's."
According to the poll, the percentage of Catholics believing that was just 15 percent, or 9.3 million (lower than the number of "non-religious" who believe it was a chastisement, and far lower than evangelicals!), although the percentage is almost surely significantly higher among actual church-going Catholics, who are now in the minority. We must remember than two-thirds of Catholics don't regularly attend regular Mass and that the majority want married priests and do not believe in the "real Presence" of the Eucharist.
There may also be questions about how the questions were posed. What would the response have been if the question was not whether God directly struck, but rather "allowed" the events to happen?
Is it God Who sends the "judgment" or the devil who actually causes mayhem when we distance ourselves from God and His umbrella of protection?
Whatever the metaphysics, of further interest was that the first thing we saw from Gulfport were the mangled and tossed casinos and the same was true in Biloxi and then in places like Lake Charles (in the aftermath of Rita). Curious too how polluted areas and oil platforms or rigs (at least 109) took hits. One well-known mystic, Sondra Abrahams, who resides in Lake Charles and has appeared on television with Archbishop Hannan, had a near-death experience many years ago during which she claims she was shown aspects of the future. She believes that the storms and other events will intensify, and warns particularly about California.
Sondra is interesting because during the 1970s, long before cloning, she was speaking of a vision in which she was shown what she described for a long time as "duplication." She too has mentioned the sin in afflicted area. Let us note that the recent fires in California started in Chatsworth -- which is the very epicenter of the pornography business.
The fires did not spread as far as they could have and we must thank God for His patience, which, it seems, is now running out. Back to Louisiana, in Cameron Parish -- a spot where a statue of the Madonna has always stood against storms -- there is now devastation.
But if so, if storms are targeting the sin along the Gulf, and in the entire country, why did the French Quarter survive? Was God simply so merciful that He did not want that most precious part of New Orleans -- its cultural heart -- destroyed, or is He simply arranging another test?
No one can know such things. These are events for the entire nation. They are not done with worldly specificity. But perhaps we have inklings. "The tragedy of New Orleans is not the final one," another mystic, Josyp Terelya, of Ukraine, claims he was told by the Blessed Mother in September. "You will save America through fasting and prayer."
Terelya says that on visiting an alleged site of apparitions in Marmora, Ontario, on August 18, he had been given a prophecy of the storms, again by the Blessed Mother -- who referred to "my children of the new and holy America."
Many are those who claim prophetic words, visions, or dreams. How many can we believe? We try to sort through such things, in obedience to the Bible, which tells us not to discount prophecy, and what we hear often has to do with something fiery.
There are many warnings about the obvious places, such as California, Manhattan, and Long Island. Terelya sees an event that will turn New York into "purified" land dedicated to Mary. How much stock can we place in such prophecies? Have they not at least given us the pulse of what has already come? Do we not at least take from them a general sense of spiritual preparation?
"I have increased my daily 'hedge' prayers for home and family," says a reader named Pamela Foos of Seattle. "I have also felt a strong push to bless the home each day with Holy Water and blessed salt. In the last ten years I have had two very strong dreams, very vivid, very detailed, about chastisement coming. I remember them as if I had them last night. In each of the two dreams, during the chastisement that surrounded me and my family, I felt an interior peace and a 'bubble' of grace which clearly came from Jesus and Our Lady."
"It is still hard to believe that this has happened to New Orleans," writes a resident of the area, Cathryn Lang "It is like a bad dream. But, something really needed to be done! There were so many poor people, and maybe, now, they can start over and have a better life. And there were three or four murders every day. I hope that will stop now. I hope that city is smaller now. It is just too bad that Mardi Gras and the dancers in the French Quarter may come back. We need to pray that this doesn't happen."
The night before things turned grave for New Orleans, one viewer had a dream of statues of the Virgin with eyes tearing blood. The word another view received was "It has begun."
But noted another viewer, Lyn Keith:
"I was just reading your account of stories from Hurricane Katrina at Spirit Daily and would like to share mine with you. I live in Gulfport, Mississippi. As Mark and I were boarding up for the hurricane he picked up our yard statue of St. Michael and placed it on top of a large plastic storage box next to our house to keep the wind from blowing the lid open. Well the morning of the storm I joked with my sister about where he placed it and said that he should have put it at the front door and he said that it was where it was needed. Well it was just where it was needed because as I was finishing my Rosary a huge tree (about 50-feet tall) in my neighbor's yard was blown over into my yard and the huge boughs on the tree split the back of my house right where the statue was. One fell on our patio cover and the other side fell on the opposite side of our bedroom and did not touch the roof of our home. It was like slow motion as we heard the crash. It took down about five smaller oaks and a pecan with it but every one fell right at the edge of our roof. Just a testament to the goodness of Our Father and his angels."]
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