Catastrophe In New Orleans Brings An Incredible Halt to Plans for a Decadent Weekend
It is getting difficult for even the most recalcitrant -- the most skeptical -- to ignore the events. We are beyond the fact that the prophecies of weather are coming true and now looking at the more intricate signs.
Start with New Orleans. Years ago, it was warned, "New Orleans, you are in peril. You are a fine people but you have let fester an evil that is unmatched outside of Hollywood and Berkeley and Times Square. It's that kind of stuff -- not God -- that brings disaster. When you invoke dark spirits, you get a storm. The very word hurricane comes from the Indian hurukan for evil spirit and when we look at the Bible we note that black magic -- the very definition of voodoo -- was quickest to bring the Lord's judgment."
That was in 2001. Fast-forward to 2005. Just before the hurricane hit, psychics defiantly continued their readings in the French Quarter, partiers continued their reveling, and then afterwards -- when it looked like New Orleans had dodged a bullet -- bar-goers hooted and celebrated as they had outwitted nature and within a day the city was flooded.
Unless they stop the levee flooding, says a former mayor, we could "lose" New Orleans. If thousands are dead, this will indeed qualify as a long-prophesied "mega-storm." Let us pray that they do stop the horrid flooding -- for while there are many evils in New Orleans, there is more good: tremendous Catholics and innocent others involved in a true calamity (and intense spiritual warfare).
"You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny," Psalm 73:24 assures us. But let's stick with the signs, all of it starting on the feast (August 29) of John the Baptist: The hurricane has brought an incredible halt to New Orleans annual 'Southern Decadence.' "When people who have never spent Labor Day weekend in New Orleans ask me what Southern Decadence is, I usually take the easy way out and tell them that it's sort of like a gayer version of Mardi Gras, although Mardi Gras is pretty gay itself," says a writer on Frenchquarter.com.
We have noted that the name "Katrina" means "purity." A storm now was washing not only over the Mardi Gras costumes and fortune-telling booths and strip clubs, not just over the antique shops selling voodoo items, and the haunted graves, but on the outskirts it was purifying other manifestations that are not usually thought of as evil -- the factories pumping out toxic chemicals that have caused illness in a city that has some of the world's highest cancer rates. The governor of Mississippi once criticized those with environmental concerns as "eco-extremists." He is a good man who needs to rethink his position.
When one former governor of Louisiana was asked what he thought of the stench from nearby factories, he laughed and said, "Smells like money!" There are the refineries. What is God saying about oil? Should we be guzzling it as we do? Is it affecting the weather? And whatever the case, was He not warning that our infrastructure will be broken down? We will not get into those political arguments. Rather let us note that if there is no message in Biloxi and Gulfport -- the "southern capital of gambling" -- there is no message anywhere. The casinos there have been smashed and tossed around like toys and those two cities would be extremely wise to follow Church teaching on gambling and never to allow them back.
That our infrastructure would be severely affected was prophesied by a former atheist whose name is -- Storm. Dr. Howard Storm. We met him in New Orleans! He said fights would break out over a cup of gasoline.
"Looters turn New Orleans into 'downtown Baghdad,'" says one of today's headlines. Let us pray for our many dear friends in this area that for all its problems is one of our favorites. Few people are as good, as friendly, as Christian as New Orleansians. Our hearts break for them.
Are you you all safe, dead friends in Louisiana? What is happening at the cathedral? Please let us know if we can help. Did the Ursuline Convent -- with the famed statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor -- survive?
We know of one statue that did. Reports a friend named Jackie Doucette who is originally from Biloxi:
"A church I used to attend when I lived or later visited Biloxi, St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, is still standing after 'Katrina,' while the casinos that surrounded the church were destroyed. The church is the circular building. It's located on US 90 -- directly across from the Copa and Grand casinos. A statue of St. Michael is located on top of the church and faces the water."
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