Since the events of Rue de Bac, Lourdes and La Salette in the early 19th Century, and Fatima in the 20th, there has been great attention to reported Marian apparitions, often with apocalyptic messages. As a friend of mine points out, “the greatest lie is 99% truth.” Certainly, Satan can masquerade as an “angel of light,” but I wonder if he doesn’t do this in part to clue us in on his own plans?
_The Thunder of Justice_ by Ted and Maureen Flynn sat on my shelf for several years. I finally read it in 2002, finding many references that were quite timely in the light of 9/11 and the sex abuse scandals. One story involved a reputed locutionary who lived in New England in the early 1980s and was supposedly endorsed by Cardinal O’Connor, among others. She predicted that “World War III” would be started by 2 Arab leaders, after the year 2000. One Arab leader wearing a turban (Osama?) would attack NYC with “two missiles.” That would start one war. Another war would be started by an Arab leader in a beret (Saddam?), leading into WWIII.
Pope Leo XIII famously predicted that God had given the Devil 100 years to try and destroy the Church, composing the St. Michael Prayer to aid the faithful in one of the greatest spiritual battles in history. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, among others, have stated that the Church is in one of its greatest spiritual battles of all times.
When the notorious “Third Secret of Fatima” was finally revealed, it bore a remarkable resemblance to the prophecy of St. John Bosco regarding the Ship and the Two Pillars.
The reported apparitions of Garbandal, Spain, in the 1960s said that there would only be three more Popes in “these times” (meaning the the time of trial for the Church), making JPII the last pope of “these times.”
After his death, the apparition predicted, the world would enter a time of chastisements.
Meanwhile, as Our Lady of Fatima made note of Lucia’s being around to see things fulfilled, and as Sr. Lucia lived to such a ripe old age, many of us expected her death to be significant in world affairs.
As it happened, in the past year, both Sr. Lucia and Pope John Paul II went to their eternal rewards within a short time of each other.
John Paul was succeeded by Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, whose papacy has been the hope and prayer of many of us for many years. More importantly, some have made striking comparisons to Benedict’s election and the aforementioned vision of Don Bosco.
The Culture Wars have “polarized” the US to a point not seen perhaps since the 1850s. The devastation of 9/11 has been overshadowed by the devastation of Katrina and Rita. Billy Graham once said that God would owe an apology to Soddom and Gommorah if He didn’t do something to certain American cities. Of course, Jesus says that the Judgement is far greater on those who are given faith than it would be on even Soddom or Gommorah. Jerusalem, says the NT, is far worse than Rome or Babylon.
Thus, it is the “Catholic” city of New Orleans that gets devastated in the worst disaster of US history.
Now Paris, the city of riots, is burning in uprisings by Muslim immigrants, and those uprisings are spreading throughout Europe.
In C. S. Lewis for the Third Millennium, Peter Kreeft says that postmodern society is at least as bad as Ancient Rome, and Rome was bad enough to warrant the coming of the Messiah.