As 'Katrina' Showed, It's Supposed To Be 'City of Saints', Not Center For Voodoo
Isn't is great, the way God times things? The ghoulishness of Halloween is followed swiftly with the saints (call on all of them!) who come marching in. After all, it is All Saints Day.
Ironically, we witnessed the same in New Orleans, which bears the nickname of the "City of Saints" and which saw Hurricane Katrina knock back the occultism that was so rampant in that city. Suddenly they are speaking a lot about God there.
"Don Glossop's shop, 'New Orleans Mistic' [that's the way they spell it] has been closed since Hurricane Katrina swamped the city two months ago, and most of his clients, who practice a local variant of voodoo, have scattered across the country," reports ABC. "He fears that 'Katrina,' which laid waste to entire neighborhoods and claimed hundreds of lives here, may take another casualty: New Orleans' status as the country's voodoo capital."
Noted this businessman: "As of today I would say it's pretty dead."
Let the saints march in and let the religion of the dead stay that way.
Voodoo has long been entrenched in New Orleans, quietly practiced in homes with altars, candles, and incense to solve problems of the heart and wallet. Reports the network: "Before the storm tore through, about 15 percent of the city's population actively practiced according to Lisa Fannon, a tour guide, though estimates vary widely."
When 15 percent of a populace may practice black magic -- santeria, candomble, lucumi, voudoun, trance possession, by thousands of residents -- God's protection is placed at a distance. Unfortunately there are already pagans trying to reclaim the city.
Years ago a fine priest named Father Albert Hebert wrote a book called The Tears of Mary and in it he pointed out that the International Pilgrim Statue of the Fatima Virgin wept in New Orleans. There were a number of other such incidents, reported Father Hebert -- who died recently and lived in Louisiana. There is a shrine in the state called "Miracle of the Holy Rosary" where it was reported that Mary came to an elderly Creole man on a bayou.
This had prompted Father Hebert to ask why so many events were connected with New Orleans. "He then referred to a cartoon vision some children, I believe in Sicily, might have had, where New Orleans was mentioned as part of some important event," noted a reader from Australia in a note to us a year ago.
Events like Katrina are for us all, not just New Orleans. It is pointed out that stigmatic Therese Neumann of Germany foresaw America as one day destroyed economically by natural disasters. In 1946, just after the end of World War II, she made the remark when asked by an American soldier if the United States would ever be destroyed or invaded in a war. "There is an often recounted story which tells that Therese is the mystic who prophesied that because of the mercy of God, bombs would not fall on U.S. soil as a reward for the generosity of the American people to many other countries of the world," notes another author. Instead, it is claimed, would arrive other means of correction.
There are those who have disputed that events like "Katrina" can come as a cleansing, arguing that God would not allow anything like so cruel. Such views fly in the face of Scripture. God always has acted like this -- correcting us, instead of watching us head to condemnation. And those who are evil have always caused the good to suffer with them.
We call these victim-souls (surely there were good people at Nineveh, as there are so many in New Orleans), and while the French Quarter, the "heart and soul" of the city, and the center of much debauchery, was spared utter destruction, the homes of those who operate evil businesses, along with their clients, were chased, at least for the time being, from the area.
That's one part of the "prophetic pulse." There are others. It's not like a disaster in a specific place is only for that particular place. To repeat, when such occurs, it is a message to all of us.
Years ago, we reported on the alleged prophecies of a former art professor who says that during a near-death brush, angels showed him the future of the U.S., which he says will one day suffer a widespread breakdown in its infrastructure. We continue to receive glimpses of this in the way of gas lines and power outages.
Merciful is the God Who has given us endless warnings.
As one priest, Father Robert Altier, of St. Agnes Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, says, people don't believe in chastisement "because people don't want to deal with sin."
"The loss of the sense of sin is one of the great tragedies of our time," says Father Altier, who is also a third-order Carmelite. "They don't want to deal with the idea that God would allow any kind of purification. We focus on His mercy so much that we forget His justice. And some of it -- wars as well as storms -- we are doing to ourselves. Nature reflects the chaos in the spiritual order. You see that right from the Garden of Eden. There was peace until they sinned, and that continues. The chaos that we see -- the storms and tsunamis -- continue to get more intense and closer together and it is because sin is getting worse. I have been speaking about this since the early 1980s, but after 9/11, I said, 'now the birth pangs have begun.' We can't keep killing babies and violating human dignity and think that nothing is going to happen to us. We're doing it to ourselves. It's a natural consequence of what we're doing."
But with prayer, we can avert disasters. Instead of fear there is hope. But there is also sobriety. Can signs take esoteric form? After we carried an item about strange odors around the U.S. (as well as other countries like New Zealand), a reader quoted an historical item about bubonic plague:
"Troubling enigmas about the Black Death still linger. Many outbreaks occurred in summer during warm weather in uncrowded regions. Not all outbreaks of bubonic plague were preceded by rodent infestation; in fact, only a minority of cases seemed to be related to an increase in the presence of vermin. The greatest puzzle about the Black Death is how it was able to strike isolated human populations which had no contact with earlier infected areas. The epidemics also tended to end abruptly... A great many people throughout Europe and other plague-stricken regions of the world were reporting that outbreaks of the plague were caused by foul-smelling 'mists.' Those mists frequently appeared after unusually bright lights in the sky. The historian quickly discovers that 'mists' were reported far more frequently and in many more locations than were rodent infestations."
And now, some believe we are encountering such signs again.
"As regards your story about the 'stench' in Washington D.C., I noticed a 'natural gas' odor around our house but it was fleeting and there was no real leak," notes a woman from Ann Arbor, Michigan. "Then a few nights after that event, there was strange lightning and then a grinding noise. My son saw the lightning in the sky, and it was not like normal lightning. He said it looked like fireworks but it lit up the sky. After each flash of lightning ( there were four), came a grinding noise like metal upon metal or train brakes on a rail. In prayer, He has asked for prayers for the souls of earthquake victims. "
We live in interesting times. Why, for example, would the number "2" appear in perfect digital form inside the eye of Hurricane Wilma? News videos show this to be the case.
"Two days ago, I was at Eucharistic Adoration," notes a woman reader named Jo. "As I knelt to pray in front of Our Lord and took in my hands all of the petitions I saw Jesus in the Eucharistic Host. He was looking down, it was my thought that he was looking down at the Earth with great mercy. I opened the scriptures, and it opened to the Apocalypse Chapter 6. You are right; we must pray with great urgency."
The All-Saints Day reading? Right here.
The omens are not all dire ones!
"I had a dream in which a bright light flashed across the eastern sky and an image of Jesus appeared, causing people to run and jump for joy past me at a strip mall parking lot," writes Joel Torczon of Bakersfield, California, who has had dreams that materialized. "We'll see if this dream comes to fruition as well!"
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