October 19, 2011

Riots, protests and prophecies

Over the past year, when riots and protests have surfaced in dozens of major cities around the globe, our natural inclination has been to choose, each time, which side is right. Of course, each conflict has its own circumstances but, too often, both sides appear to be steeped in sin. 

Take the "Occupy Wall Street" protests, for example, which draw attention to the culpability of insulated "fat cats" who should pay a price for economic disruptions around the globe. Yes, the bankers deserve blame for their greed, but in every step of the process, others succumbed to that cardinal sin, also. Greed for pay, perks and power prevailed over the politicians who legislated the sub-prime lending fiasco, over the banks and brokers who raced to profit from sub-prime loans because the government now would absorb the risk, over the borrowers who lied about their ability to repay their mortgages, and over the investment banking firms that bundled the mortgages and sold the toxic bonds around the world. 

However, the self-righteous protesters are not shining role models. While they condemn the greed of others, they shamelessly wallow in envy, lust and sloth. Their rallying cry seems to be "Anything but capitalism," which leaves open the possibilities of anarchy, famine and slavery to a totalitarian authority. So, it is not very surprising that these "useful idiots" have been widely endorsed by communists who condemn capitalism and neo-Nazis who condemn "Judeo-Capitalism." 

"The Coming Insurrection" -- a book that was originally published in France fours years ago when the global economy was humming along nicely -- predicts: "As the welfare state collapses, we see the emergence of a brute conflict between those who desire order and those who don't." The anonymous authors brag, "With ten thousand people, the largest economic power in the world can be brought to its knees." They recommend, "... the only realistic option we can see is to 'break the bank,' as soon as possible and, in the meantime, take advantage of every collapse in the system to increase our own strength." One soon recognizes that the words of Sun Tsu, Machiavelli and von Clausewitz are child's play compared to the incendiary advice of these radicals who boast, "We can't help but delight in the fits of anger and disorder wherever they erupt." 

Indicating that this book may represent the spirit of our times, "The Coming Insurrection" reached number one on Amazon's bestsellers list. Also, indicative of the hypocrisy of our times, the authors shamelessly proclaimed their copyright while condemning the capitalist system that protects it. It is clear that they are cut from the same cloth as Julian Assange, the famous Wikileaks founder, who exposed mountains of classified documents, possibly putting people's lives in danger, while demanding that his own privacy rights and copyright protections be enforced. 

The twentieth century has unleashed destructive forces that were unimaginable in centuries past. Still, Americans and Europeans live with comforts that the kings of past centuries would have envied. Yet, anger and dissatisfaction prevail and we seem increasingly polarized. 

The world's unrest may indicate that the battle lines are now drawn. Though the divisions are often characterized as racial, financial or sociological, I believe they are not. They are Spiritual. So, I want to point out some of the prophecies that refer to the the latter days and that could shed light on what is and what shall be. I do not recommend placing trust in every prophecy, but neither do I suggest that we ignore them. Though we cannot know the day nor the hour of Christ's return, we certainly can discern the signs of the times. 

Yet, regardless of what evils we encounter in this life, there is always victory in the end, with God.

"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it 
that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 
Nation will rise against nation
[can also translate as "ethnic group against ethnic group"], 
and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
All these are the beginning of birth pains."
Matthew 24:6-8

"The beginning of the last period of the world will not occur 
in the nineteenth century,
but the twentieth, for sure."
Stigmatic Sister Bertina Bouquillon
19th Century

"France shall fall into frightful anarchy. The French shall have 
a desperate civil war in the course of which old men themselves 
will take up arms."
Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi
19th Century

"The furies of hell are now set loose.
Divine punishment is now inevitable"
Teresa Neumann

"The human race will have to go through a great storm
that will sharpen divisions among men and reduce their plans to ashes."
Berthe Petit

"About the year 2000 A.D., Antichrist will reveal himself to the world."
St. John of the Cleft Rock
14th Century

"Spoliation, pillaging and devastation of that most famous city
which is the capital and mistress of France will take place
when the Church and the world are grievously troubled."
John of Vatiguerro
13th Century

"Revolution will break out in Italy almost at the same time as in France....
England, too, will have much to suffer."
The Ecstatic of Tours

"... the frightful crisis will be of short duration. 
When all is considered lost, all will be found safe.
The disaster will come to pass shortly after the power of England 
begins to wane.... England in her turn will experience a more frightful revolution 
than that of France. It will continue long enough for France 
to recover her strength; then she will help England restore peace and order."
Father Nectou, S.J.
18th Century

"I saw many churches close down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed.
A wild and ignorant mob took to violent action. But it did not last long."
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

"In the Latter Days there shall be great wars and bloodshed.
Whole provinces shall be left despoiled and uninhabited, and cities deserted 
by the people. The nobility shall be slaughtered and influential people ruined,
with many changes of kings, commonwealths, and rulers."
Blessed Johannes Amadeus de Sylva
15th Century

"A great revolution shall spread over all of Europe....
There shall be great confusion of people against people,
and nations against nations..."
Sister Rosa Asdenti di Taggia
19th Century

"God will punish the world when men have devised marvelous inventions
that will lead them to forgetting God. They will have horseless carriages,
and they will fly like the birds. But they will laugh at the idea of God,
thinking that they are 'very clever.' There will be signs from heaven, but men,
in their pride, will laugh them off. Men will indulge in voluptuousness,
and lewd fashions will be seen."
Blessed Rembordt
18th Century