An asteroid is passing 17,000 miles from us as a spectacular meteor strikes Russia, while "A Good Day to Die Hard," a Hollywood blockbuster movie based in Russia, debuts. What is the statistical chance of all these events happening within hours of each other?
Signs and Wonders in the midst of the Papal Abdication:
How should a Christian respond?
On Feb 15, 2013, at 7:07, XXXXX@aol.com wrote:
Your Name: H.N.
Subject: Questions about Pope Benedict's abdication
Dear Mr. Hoffman:
I read your online article concerning the Pope and found it very enlightening. My main take away was, as you counseled, prudence when approaching this subject. The spin meisters in the media as well as the conspiracy blogs should be treated with healthy amounts of scepticism.
The one aspect of this event which interested me was your suggestion of the possibility of Divine intervention, at the personal level, perhaps having played a role in this drama. The ritualism surrounding "Shrovetide" makes the unlikelihood of a Papal abdication coinciding with it a synchronicity far too compelling to ignore. However, the additional feature of a spectacular lightning strike upon St. Peter's the very day of the papal resignation followed today by the spectacular account of a supposed "meteor" strike in the Urals region of Russia has to make one wonder if the heavens themselves are in a state of agitation.
(The reason I've enclosed the word meteor in quotes is because the early reports I've read on the "RT" website include an unconfirmed report that the Russian military tracked and intercepted the object and fired missiles at it. In any event I'll let you consult the site and make your own judgement as I'm taking the report at face value that it was a natural phenomenon. See: http://rt.com/news/meteorite-crash-urals-chelyabinsk-283/)
In reading the dispatch on the above site as well as the linked site giving updated news a couple of points were of particular interest to me. One paragraph described reports from people in the area of the strike as stating that zookeepers in a nearby city reported "agitation" of the animals by the boom and impact. But, they also noted that the most agitated of all were wolves and horses. Wolves, as we all know are the forerunners and not so distant cousins of our domestic dogs. It has always been my perception that of all the creatures which the Good Lord put under Man's dominion dogs and horses have always (at least, I think, in the West) been considered the closest and most faithful servants. Is this heightened agitation among these two particular species significant? Is there a sublayer operating at the cosmic layer beyond the simple coincidence of this event occurring the week of a Papal resignation?
Another factoid gleaned from the above story on RT: There is a giant deactivated Soviet era Plutonium enrichment facility located within 100 kilometers of the area where this event took place.
In any event I'm sure you will ponder and evaluate this in your own good time and with much more precision and clarity than I could.
I realize this e-mail has dragged on and I sincerely apologize for my lack of brevity but I'd like to make just one more point about synchronicities at a personal level. A couple of days ago I was perusing the selections at a local used book shop. I happened upon 3 volumes, in paperback, which I felt, almost against my better judgement, that I must purchase immediately. What were these three books? The first one was "The Collected Works of Charles Fort". I had been looking for a paperback version of this work to go along with the hardbound version I purchased many years ago. I felt a need for a second copy of the book because my intent is to read Fort again but this time I wish to highlight/underline/note comments which is something I would never do to the hardbound edition I own. The second book in question is an old paperback copy of Dr. Zhivago which I have always wanted to read but never found time to read. A great deal of this story takes place in the Ural mountain region of Russia which is where the meteor strike occurred. Finally, I picked up a work by Dr. Carl Jung entitled "Man And His Symbols". Again, I must emphasize I felt almost compelled against my better judgement to purchase these titles immediately.
I don't mean to imply that I have some special gift or insight about these phenomena. I merely relay them to you in order to (perhaps) help you in gauging the tenor of the times. I'll wrap this up by saying, again, how appreciative I am of all your works as you have forged a path to follow for those of us who are less gifted. Thank you and may God continue to bless all your efforts! Sincerely, H. N., Ohio, USA
I wish to raise a fact about strange phenomenon that is often missed by a humanity born or raised in the space age and the age of "modern marvels," along with the eschatological conspiracy theory that accompanies our time.
The lightning strike, the Ural meteor and attendant sychronicities are best understood in light of what St. Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross) stated concerning supernatural phenomenon. His conclusions may surprise you. He said we are to flee them and not attempt to divine what God's message may be in regard to them with our own human understanding, because such actions assume that the events are intended for us to discern a message or a lesson that is either not there or not intended for our edification. Remember, St. John was referring to phenomenon known to be of God.
God can and does send us signs and portents, of course, but we are cautioned to keep in mind that He does not always intend them as something which our finite human understanding can grasp.
In the 1970s in upstate New York, a Catholic Church had a decent enough pastor. He was transferred to another parish. In between his transfer and the arrival of the new priest who would serve as pastor, lightning not only struck the church, it knocked the cross off the church! Imagine how rife was speculation in that parish concerning the alleged past sins of the previous pastor (for those who favored that line of conjecture); or the imminent evil about to be imposed by the new one (a theory circulating among those who admired the former pastor). Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and neither theory came to a boil. To the best of my knowledge, both pastors are now deceased and both were fine priests. The old pastor's term had been benevolent and Christ-like, and the new pastor was a holy man who did much good during his pastorate. So why did God send lightning to knock the cross off the steeple of that church?
If St. John of the Cross had been around he might have wondered if God had perhaps sent that lightning strike mainly to test the reaction of the parishioners, to expose those with evil imaginations, jaundiced minds and withered souls who, projecting their own evil onto others, took sides concerning which priest was the alleged object of the supposed symbolism pertaining to a cross being struck off a church by lightning.
In the most perfect prayer ever written, we ask of God, "Et nenos inducas in tentationem" ("Lead us not into temptation"). Following the sage counsel of the Church's theological expert on mystical and supernatural phenomena, may it be that God finds us in these days watching with vigilance, as Our Lord counseled and not leading ourselves into temptation. This word watch is used in the Gospel by one of two Greek terms (agrupneo and gregoreuo), which are largely consonant in meaning: "Keep awake, be vigilant, aware."
Let's look at Luke 12: 25-40:
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the head of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour you do not expect."
What does it mean to watch as Jesus forewarned us, to be vigilant and awake? Part of it is to do as you have done, mark the signs you have perceived above the din of the commercial and workaday world. That's the first part. The second part is equally vital to our salvation. It is found in Matthew 24: 4-13:
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Matthew 24 had specific application to Jesus' century, to the coming fall of the Temple of Jerusalem at the hands of the "abomination of desolation" (the Roman army that worshipped false gods, but which God used to wreak destruction on the corrupt system that had fomented the murder of the Messiah of Israel). Yet Matthew 24 also has universal application since it mentions the end times.
I do not see anywhere in Christ's counsel an admonition that we are to interpret the meaning of "earthquakes" -- a category in which we can also place lightning strikes and meteors. Rather, these phenomenon are a sign that we have entered into a time that requires heightened alertness, vigilance, and above all, faith.
We know that "iniquity abounds." We know that the love of many has "waxed cold," or in the words of the poet, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
What we sometimes forget is that the foretold "false prophets who will deceive many" can and will come from among our own ranks -- the Right wing as much as from the Left. In researching the book Usury in Christendom I was struck by the degree to which the Cryptocracy had used the Right wing to sow the deception that usury was an almost wholly Judaic manifestation. What did this falsehood achieve? It managed to distract, for some 500 years, almost all attention away from the enormous institution of mortally sinful gentile usury that has served as a turbo-drive engine of the Money Power. What is the Money Power? It is that instrument which transferred the wealth of the world from the farmers, manufacturers, inventors and workers to the parasites who "financialized" our world through compound interest on debt.
Compound-interest banking succeeded in its ambition for dominion over us, in part due to the denial of its existence inside the Church (Chesteron and Belloc repeated, with monotonous persistence, the myth that the Church never changed its teaching against usury). Second, by using the spectre of Judaic shylocks, the Money Power was able to justify Catholic shylocks (with the monte di pieta ruse of Lateran V), by claiming that the Catholic version of the mortal sin of interest on debt charged a less onerous interest rate than the Judaic interest rate. Which is rather like decreeing that we will open an affordable brothel, so that Christians will not get rooked at the expensive house of ill repute run by the "Jews." What was the vehicle for this monumental deception which maintains cachet even 498 years after it was "infallibly" promulgated by the pope at Lateran Council V? The Right wing.
Jesus said, "Take heed that no one deceive you." Yet many of His alleged Right wing followers get very wroth when someone presents facts that upset their preconceived notion of how the devil deceives and from what direction. They imagine God to be a partisan in their petty Left-Right politics. This is delusion. History teaches that fallen human nature loves delusion. People will suppress and avoid anyone who may be sent by God to dispel delusion.
What was Jesus' answer to the false prophets who seek to impose their man-made conjectures and hypotheses disguised as decoding and revelation of papal abdications, lightning strikes and meteor sightings? "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Endure in what? In precisely that, enduring in the work that still remains to be accomplished with our hands, as assigned to us by our Creator.
One reason why hair-raising, spine-tingling foreshadowings of apocalypse attract us to such a degree, is that they carry with them the promise of an end to our labors. We dearly would like to be quit of the work in which we are engaged and spared its burdens -- swept up into a time where God takes control and we are relieved of all responsibility. This is the devilish lure of end time conspiracy theories that speak and foretell falsely. End time conspiracy mongering is a huge, lucrative and thrilling entertainment industry that sidetracks millions of people from the work which it is God's will that they pursue.
Let's consider one more key passage from Our Lord's statement: "be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass." This teaching is what motivated St. John of the Cross to steer us away supernatural phenomena, even if it is of God. We are not to have our peace of soul disturbed. This is key. Without peace of soul we cannot maintain our labor in the Lord's vineyard.
I am certainly not saying that we shouldn't stay alert to a revelation that God may want to convey by means of miracles and signs, as you have done by noting the anomalies witnessed lately. But let it be God who makes it clear, by His means in His good time, rather than man's. The caution given by St. John of the Cross was against the superstitious imaginings and panic which come from man’s debased imagination. A true Catholic much persecuted by the Renaissance Church of his era, St. John barely escaped the flames of the Inquisition.
There is another demonic dimension to end time excitement and hysteria. From the days of the Y2K predictions of "the end of civilization as we know it," to Protestant Harold Camping's 2011 end of the world false prophecy in God's name, to the Mayan end time predicted in 2012, to the "Peter Romanus" false prophecy attributed to St. Malachy, Satan burns people out with false expectations of an imminent end.
What does this burn-out entail? The most searing of errors -- the inability to prepare ourselves for when the End actually is imminent. Jesus said it will come like a thief in the night; very likely months or years after people had been deceived into expecting it. Hence, when genuine prophets of God come forth to announce it, the people will not hear them and will say, "Away with you,we have heard it all before."
Consequently, what is required of us now, is to be found doing our duty, to God and His Truth, to our family and our fellow man, in the work that is our state in life; not to be disturbed by strange signs and wonders, by earthquakes, meteors and lightning strikes; but to watch, and take care that we are fulfilling the role God has assigned for our lives, in the grace and power of those who are numbered among the sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.
In the particular case at hand, we can rightly assess the shadows behind the current papal abdication by observing who is elected as the next pope. Will it be a Christ-like man chosen through miraculous divine intervention, or another stooge of the Cryptocracy's Left or Right wings? Such a study is legitimate because it is part of our due Christian diligence, which is not so prone to the mystification and hysteria which false prophets, from the Right as much as the Left, employ to blind and misdirect us.
Pax domini sit semper vobiscum,
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