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A thin line there is, between being prepared and being paranoid.

No one can be sure, at this point, where that line is. It never hurts to be prepared.

We do feel there is something in the near future that goes beyond a hurricane. Is it the economy? The president of the U.S. calls it a "continuing disaster." Others are using words like "depression." Is it in nature? There are rumblings -- from the earth beneath the Midwest and California to a volcano near Anchorage. Is it upheaval? The possibility of widespread civil unrest has not been this high in a long while. There are many prospects, all of which -- if handled properly, if responded to with faith -- work together to bring back goodness, spirituality, and simplicity. No fear is necessary.

But prayer is; in prayer, the Holy Spirit will guide us as to individual needs. Should we prepare? There are indications that we should. There is the feeling in the spirit -- reported across denominations. There is also simple logic: the government prepares for eventualities; why should not we?

It is important to realize what can occur without fearing it -- events that are not as suddenly spectacular as, say, an asteroid, tsunami, or a volcano, but can have massive effects.

We are entering into a time of turmoil. Already, millions have been marching in protest in countries like Russia and France, due to economic conditions. Will this also occur in the U.S.?  A study released last week by the International Labor Organization predicted that if current economic conditions continue through the new year, 200 million workers, mostly in developing countries, will be pushed into extreme poverty by loss of jobs or lowered wages.

We are thus aware, in addition to the economy, and natural events, that we are entering a period of upheaval. Societal unrest can stall or break down the infrastructure. It doesn't have to be a single "apocalyptic" event. We forget that chastisement can occur in "slow motion" through, for example, epidemics.

With proper safeguards, one often can be shielded from such an event.

But let's stay on the economy and upheaval, since it is a focus at the moment. President Obama says to expect more bank failures. Unofficial prognosticators, such as Gerald Celente of Trends Research Institute in Kingston, New York -- who has been featured on networks like CNN, CBS, and Fox -- claims dire financial times ahead, a "greatest depression."

We're not sure of all that. No one is sure of anything. He says that the "panic of 2008" will now be the "collapse of 2009." He sees empty stores and a commercial real estate bust that will "dwarf" the subprime crisis, a "perfect Titanic situation." Many say he has a tremendous track record as a soothsayer. Is it going too far when he foresees danger in the streets due to unrest and a growing underclass (that wasn't there during the Great Depression, when the U.S. was an ascending nation), and that as a result "there is going to be a revolt in this country"?

Whatever transpires in the economy (and finances almost surely will continue to play a part in a purification, which we believe started several years back), one may note how quickly fuel and food supplies can vanish by simply looking back at the aftermath of hurricanes, which left stores empty even in cities that were merely "brushed" in states such as Florida. Every region of the world has circumstances that can lead to disruption. Here is the key word: "disruption." It makes sense to have a preparation kit.

Just last week, more than a million lost power from the Plains to the East Coast due to an ice storm. This can be even more devastating than a hurricane. It is informative to note that in Kentucky, folks had to resort, in some rural parts, to getting their water the old-fashioned way: with pails from a creek. Are these too "signs"?

Celente and others say they expect a situation to arise which will necessitate "draconian" measures by government. They often point out that the federal government has been training the military to intervene in domestic unrest (for the first time ever), and that there are "gathering spots" that could be used as detention centers -- and even a bill, H.R. 645, proposed by Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Florida, calling for the secretary of Homeland Security to establish no fewer than six national emergency centers for corralling civilians on military installations. Celente points to these as indications of what the government expects in the way of preparation in the event "something extraordinary happens."

We are not at all happy with the reports on detention centers. Some dispute they are even for that purpose. The reports persist. Is there fire where there is smoke or just smoke?

One internet news site, World Net Daily, went so far yesterday as to state that "the proposed bill, which has received little mainstream media attention, appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany."

That seems like an extreme viewpoint. We are not saying this. But one can reasonably wonder if a breakdown of some sort will spark riots and roaming bands of looters and whether this is a possibility that the government is preparing for. And if the government is preparing, should we? It is good to secure our homes, have extra medications, food, and water on hand, and ready currency, in the event that something occurs -- hurricane, ice storm -- that causes a disruption (there is that word again) that saps the infrastructure for several weeks. In prayer, you may decide that you need nothing, that the purification will be gradual, or simply spiritual -- gradual and not the sudden curtain of a catastrophe.

It is for your discernment. Obviously, we hope such is not necessary; and even if so, coming events should not bring an ounce of fear. With prayer there is trust and trust brings hope which brings results. You will be protected under Mary's mantle. You can place yourself -- with enough prayer -- in a "bubble." Events will deliver us; they will free us; they will cleanse. Do we feel there will be major events? Many -- across all strata. It doesn't hurt to set aside certain necessities and look for the safest banks (you research them here).

Purification brings hope: that whatever God deems fit will turn us into a better people (as it will).

But meanwhile, it seems prudent to ask God about what if anything you might do, according to the region in which you live, and it doesn't hurt to exercise humility.

As the Blessed Mother recently and allegedly told a seer named Mirjana Soldo (in speaking about preparing spiritually, by opening to God's love), "Do not lose time, children, because you are not its masters."

[resources: Tower of Light] and Tampa retreat: afterlife, prophecy, family healing, preparing for our times]

[Retreat in Detroit soon to be announced]

[See also: check your bank's rating and Preparing for 'apocalypse']

[Photo at top left is from Yvonne Marquez. "I am 12 years old, and in the 7th grade and I took this picture on January 16th, 2009. I was at the park for my home schooling park day I took a picture of the sun through some branches and got this result. As you can see it seems to be a  Cross with the sun in the middle. I did not use any photo-shopping at all. There was also witnesses that were around while I photographed it.]

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