Word of Knowledge, by Fr. Robert DeGrandis, on the charismatic gift of 'knowing' -- of receiving direct wisdom and knowledge from Heaven, especially in healing but also in music, in discernment, in finding lost things, in Scripture and everyday life!  CLICK HERE



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As events -- the major ones -- occur, they will come, mostly, as a surprise. Be assured of that. When experts are tracking something and making specific projections, they almost always overstate or underestimate a situation -- or most frequently, in the really big ones, don't see them coming.

Consider the surprise of the recent quake in Japan or the great Asian tsunami (which evaded significant mention by the Tsunami Warning Center) or the tricks played by storms like Hurricane Katrina -- which was certainly projected as a strong, dangerous storm but had effects that neat computer models did not indicate.

When Hurricane Andrew -- the single most intense storm on mainland Florida in modern times --  hit the southern part of the state, it did so in a way that shocked meteorologists. Indeed, one prominent member of the National Hurricane Center (a man who flies in those reconnaissance jets) was stranded and very nearly killed in his own home (with his children) by that ferocious hurricane, which they did not really see coming (at least not as a category-five).

Look what has occurred through history. The Temple in Jerusalem fell with great suddenness (see Matthew 24) and there was the incredible disaster at Pompeii not long after the death of Jesus. So unexpected were the effects from that volcano that when archaeologists unearthed the ruins, they found the impressions of people who were struck down as they were fleeing. The entire place seemed oblivious to what soon ensued as an event right up there with the sulfur of Gomorrah. It was in late summer of A.D. 74. The waves of the sea roared, just as Jesus long before may have prophesied (Luke 12:25). There had been warnings -- earthquakes in the previous decade -- but still all were caught off guard, as will we.

Major events will come upon us in an instant.

They will surprise those who offer a prognostication.

They will particularly surprise scientists.

Something will come out of the blue (perhaps literally).

It is unlikely that CNN (or any of them) will be at the scene.

As for prophecy, it often makes sense only in retrospect. Look at the predictions in Isaiah and Psalms about Christ, or His own mysterious mentions of what would occur to Him (as when He said His temple would rise on the third day). True prophecy does not have the specificity (or error) of the weatherman. It prepares us not with details but in its essence.

With "Irene," the greatest effect was not the drama hyped on television but the aftereffects (inland flooding, as we expressed last week in a headline). Who would have thought that Vermont would be more affected than the Carolinas?

Historically, consider a Mass reading this week from 1 Thessalonians:

"Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, 'Peace and security,' then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief."

[resources: Tower of Light]

[see also: What hurricane forecasters got wrong]

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