Bridge To Heaven (revised and updated), by Michael H. Brown
(with Drew Mariani), the book of interviews with famed seer and stigmatist Maria
Esperanza -- the extraordinary visionary associated with the
Church-approved site of Betania and widely regarded as perhaps the greatest
Catholic mystic since St. Padre Pio -- her life, her prophecies, her views on
world affairs, her healings, and her spiritual advice.
FROM THE MAILBAG: CAN WE PUT STOCK IN PROPHECIES THAT CALL FOR THE 'END OF THE WORLD'?
When folks seek to discredit prophecy, it's often in the way of lumping all such with "end-of-the-world" predictions. It is a time-honored ploy. But in fact the vast majority of Marian apparitions have stayed away from such final, dramatic pronouncements.
That was certainly true of the third secret of Fatima, which many expected to spell The End but which ended up indicating Our Lady's intervention to quash a massive fiery chastisement.
On the 16th of April, 1957, the sealed envelope containing the secret arrived in Rome and was placed in the office of Pope Pius XII in a little chest bearing the note, "Secret of the Holy Office." Since 2000, when it was revealed to the public, there has been an intense debate on whether the entire message, which turned out to be an image, was released by Rome or if there was text -- dramatic text -- that accompanied it (and remains in Vatican archives; decades ago, when asked about it, one Vatican cardinal, Alfredo Ottaviani, said it was "in one of those archives which are like a very deep, dark well, to the bottom of which papers fall and no one is able to see them anymore"). Many argue that there's text that remains sequestered due to volatile projections to do either with crises in the Church or an apocalyptic-like series of cataclysms (or both).
Either of those facets might be cause for rejection if past apparitions are an indication.
At the Church-approved apparition of LaSalette in the French Alps, officials accepted one secret having to do with public irreverence and a coming potato crop failure but placed in limbo (in a "dark, deep well"?) a second secret given to a shepherd girl named Melanie Calvat that portrayed corrupt clergy (present and future) and foresaw massive disasters on the earth.
In 1958 a book called The Plot Against the Pope: Coup d' état in the Conclave, claimed that Masonic forces had infiltrated the clergy during the 1800s and were working overtime to suppress and discredit the LaSalette secret (which among other things said that Rome would become "the seat of Antichrist" and said many priests already had succumbed to a "cesspool of impurity"). Claimed the author, Gary Giuffré: "These kinds of details, found in the genuine, modern-day, Marian prophecies, would always generate the greatest opposition from the Church's enemies who had infiltrated her structure. For they threatened to expose the satanic plot and long-time goal of the Masonic lodge's agents in the Vatican, to usurp and control the papal chair." Many are the conspiracy theories.
Far more likely is that the secret was set aside due to harsh language in describing the Church and the apocalyptic terminology. Many are the rejected apparitions that had no such Masonic messages. As at LaSalette, parts of the Church-approved apparitions at Kibeho in Rwanda have been approved, and other parts set aside.
The ones set aside include predictions by several seers of end-time events -- particularly a pagan boy named Emmanuel Segatashya, who claimed to have encounters with Jesus Himself (something else that may figure into Church sequestration) and went a step beyond even LaSalette in repeatedly stating that the world is about to end, period.
"On the very last day, the planet will tremble and the joy of the righteous will be overwhelming," he quoted Jesus as telling him. "After all souls chosen by God have been led into Heaven, a great fire will erupt from deep within the earth and the world will be consumed in flames, and all those who rejected God and refused to believe will burn in the fire" [see the fascinating new book: The Boy Who Met Jesus].
Another seer at Kibeho, Agnes Kamagaju, foresees the Second Coming -- but she likewise has not been approved. The three who have such sanction from Rome are not on record with statements so strong -- though they saw coming major events in the world and predicted the Rwandan genocide. According to another book, Kibeho, Rwanda -- A Prophecy Fulfilled, approved seer Alphopnsine Mumureke, while not hovering on the subject, nor mentioning anything about The End, "tells us that Our Lady came to Kibeho in order to prepare us for the coming of her Son."
There certainly have been signs in our times. Apparitions. Miraculous photos. Weather events beyond count, by now.
Our times are strange. Major, cataclysmic, transformational events loom.
But The End?
Some viewers think so.
"I was surprised in reading your current article that you wrote 'we do not accept end of the world predictions' and you state that during the age of appearances of Mary only chastisements have been messaged and not the final days," wrote Barbara Ingraham of Charlotte, North Carolina. "That is really not the story. Have you forgotten the interview with Mirjana by Jan Connell written in Queen of the Cosmos?
"Jan: 'Many people ask whether the Blessed Mother’s appearances here at Medjugorje mean that we have entered the end of times? Has the Blessed Mother said anything about the apocalypse or the second coming of Christ?
"Mirjana: 'That is part of the secrets. I would not like to talk about it.'
"Jan: 'Will many people die between the time of the first chastisement or event or admonition and the Permanent Sign promised at Medjugorje?'
"Mirjana: 'After the visible sign those still alive will have little time for conversion.'
"That does not sound like punishment," added Barbara. "That sounds like end of days."
Who are we to say?
But in several interviews with us, as well as a long conversation with her spiritual director, Mirjana never indicated "the end," and neither have the others; indeed one, Vicka Ivankovic, specifically told us her secrets did not include the end of the world, the Second Coming, nor the anti-christ. But others note that mystics such as Saint Faustina, who like Sister Lucia had seen a blazing angel ready to strike the earth, interpreted it all as the final times (the Vatican, while accepting the Divine Mercy aspect of her revelations, did not likewise authenticate the apocalyptic predictions).
But surely we must pay heed to them!
And, certainly, we do.
Interesting is the fact that Saint Faustina said there would be an incredible Cross in the sky heralding major events -- dovetailing with Kibeho, where Segatashya said on the "last day," a rainbow of colors will traverse the sky and a white cloud will form. "At that moment, you will see Me emerge from the cloud carrying My Cross," he quoted the Lord as saying.
As we pointed out last week (5/10/2012), Segatashya said Jesus will appear in an explosion of dreams during this time, something that also had been implied by the Venezuelan mystic Maria Esperanza (who however said the world was not going to end). The "end," or a denouement?
Getting back to signs, a viewer named Chris Fasnacht wrote, "I am a reader of 7 years. I wanted to go to your retreat in Omaha but I couldn't make it. I wanted to mention that Omaha is in the middle of tornado alley. In recent years we have had increasing number of tornadoes. More significant to me is the increase in severe storms. It is almost like we can't get a normal rain anymore. Instead we get high winds, hail, and tornadoes with our rain. Last night at three a.m. I awoke to another severe storm. When I looked at the radar it had quite the resemblance of a fire-breathing dragon moving slowly across eastern Nebraska and Iowa. I tried to copy a screenshot but I don't have the app. It really brought out a spiritual dimension to the storms for me. It almost seems like the storm intensity has changed and we no longer can expect peaceful rains. I think it is a sign of our times."
So do we.
[resources: The Boy Who Met Jesus and Our Lady of Kibeho; see also The Final Hour; also: Visions of the Children and The End of the The Present World and the Future Life]
[Michael Brown prophecy retreat in northern California]
[Feedback: "If these apparitions are from God, it is reasonable to think that when Our Lord talked with Emmanuel Segatashya, He would use language understandable to the population for which it is intended," said one viewer, "images, events, which were revealed to this boy would undoubtedly perceived as end-of -the -world events; talking about an end of an epoch, era, etcetera, would certainly not be as comprehensible to the likely immediate audience as 'The End of the World.' For those of us who will experience these events, I'm pretty sure it will be the end of the world and few will be quibbling with the terms used."
[Further feedback: "Of course, I read your site daily," says
another, Greg Cring. "I respect your opinion that it is not the end of the
world and note how you always qualify it with something like 'who are we
to say?' Exactly, we cannot say for sure one way of the other, nor do I
profess to know with any degree of certainly. I would like to just mention this (I have not seen you mention it -- at
least recently) and that is what is pointed out in the book,
The End of the The
Present World and the Future Life by Charles Arminjon. He
says, as does the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that technically
speaking, this world never ends but instead is 'restored' to its original
state - it is changed by God back into the sinless, immaculate state that
it originally had when first created.
"With that caveat, I note how Ivan [Dragicevic of Medjugorje] said, as reported on your site and others, 'When we see the physical changes that will happen in the world, we will understand why she came every day.' And in Visions of the Children, Ivanka is reported to have said she has ten secrets about the last chapters in the history of the planet (p. 84, of Revised and Updated Edition - 1st sentence of Chapter 6: 'Ivanka Ivankovic Elez says she knows ten secrets which involve the final chapters in the history of the planet earth.' As Arminjon makes clear, and the Letter of Peter, this world is changed, melted and re-fashioned by God into its pure, perfect state, and all those who are worthy and alive at the time survive the final fires and 'come out' into the newly purified world, along with all their resurrected worthy loved ones, too. Daniel's story of the three faithful servants cast into the fire by Nebuchadnezzar is a type for the end times when the living at that time find themselves literally surrounded by fire but come out of it completely unharmed, not even smelling of smoke. The world does not end but is melted down and refashioned and transformed into its original perfect state: 2 Peter 3:11-13: Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought [you] to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."
[Further feedback: "My name is Teresa Lawrence and I live in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y. After reading the headline story today (5/9/12) on prophetic dreams, I would like to share this. I was a nominal Protestant (Methodist) until the spring of 1993 when an article ran in the Buffalo News about a man named Michael Brown and his book called The Final Hour. I became obsessed with finding this book. I cannot explain why but I just had to read it. After many trips to bookstores and libraries (there was no internet I was aware of), my mom and I were walking through a mall and passed a bookstore. In front of the store was a sales cart filled with books. I briefly glanced at the cart and to my astonishment saw in big red letters, 'The Final Hour. I yelled to my mom 'there it is!' But when we examined the cart there was no such book! Very confused, I stood there for a moment and thought "I know I saw that.' I decided to go into the store. The religious section was far in the back. We began to search shelf by shelf and there it was! The really odd thing was the title was written in white not red! After reading this book in 1 and 1/2 days, I instantly became a believer in the Catholic Church! I can't explain how I knew this was the truth, I just did. Not long after, I had a dream my mom and I were exiting a local supermarket at night in the snow. People were running and pointing to the sky around the corner. We walked over and saw two giant red suns in the sky. I thought, how could the sun be out at night and why are there two? Suddenly everything went pitch black. I noticed a tiny point of light high in the sky...like a twinkling blue star. The light began to grow and descend and as it descended it became a cross. As it got closer I saw it was Jesus on the cross. When it arrived in the parking lot, much to my astonishment, He walked off the cross and suddenly there were children everywhere running toward Him. I woke up and had NO IDEA what this dream could mean but it felt like a premonition. I've only shared this with a few people but felt the need to finally share it with you."
[And: "Some of the concern for the 'end of the world' thinking comes from the Bible itself. For example, 2 Peter 2:5 "And spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness...' or 3.6 'By which the world which then was, being overflowed with water, perished,'" notes Kenneth Heck.
["Clearly, what is meant is an age, or eon of time, which begins and comes to an end according to the Word of God. However, those unfamiliar with scripture may fear that our planet may simply vanish or be ultimately transformed into thousands of asteroids, or the victim of a gamma ray burst, etc. The Internet can supply many possible astronomical catastrophes, none of which readily correlate with the scriptures. However, the prophesied Great Warning may be occasioned by a supernaturally induced coronal mass ejection of the sun. The Day of the Lord when 'the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are in it shall be burned up' (2 Peter 3:10) may be due to a small nova of the sun at some distant time in the future. So, we are only to be concerned with the end of the age. We are now approaching the end of the Age of Grace; beforehand was the Age of the Law; the next age will be the Age of the Kingdom of God according to the scriptures."]
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