I just came across this interesting post in one of my favourite religious sites. I then hit my “Press this” bookmarklet to be able to reblog this.
CONFLUENCE OF MAJOR DISASTERS AND REPORTED MIRACLES BEGS A QUESTION: WHY THE PHILIPPINES?
“Do you have any insight as to why the Philippines has been so devastated by this typhoon?” asks viewer Denise J. Wilson. “Every Filipino I have ever met has been a devout Catholic. Why are these folks being subject to so much suffering? Is this a portent of things to come for all of us? I fear so. I fear so. We suffered through ‘Katrina.’ The Philippines is experiencing even more than what we endured. There is such a worldwide blight of sin! Come Lord Jesus. Come!”
And so goes the mail.
Why indeed? Is it what it says it Scripture: that the Lord first chastises (witness the Church crisis with scandal) those He loves (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6)? Is this why poor and perhaps less guilty places are — in some cases — getting it first? Look at how often God chastised His chosen Israel.
Not to say the Philippines are without evil. There are great persecutions by Muslims of Christians. There is a long history of political corruption.
And in fact any number of places that have suffered through major disasters during the past two decades had plenty of reason, from the standpoint of evil.
But the Philippines: typhoon after super-typhoon, earthquakes, disease, persecution.
It sits there right where vast tectonic plates subduct or grind against the edges of each on the western part of the seismic zone known as the “Ring of Fire.”
It is near Indonesia, which has had some of recorded histories greatest volcanic eruptions and quakes.
“Geography has not been kind to the Philippines,” notes a news site. “With six to nine typhoons making landfall every year, almost nine hundred volcanoes, it gets more than its share of natural disasters.”
Just last year, Tropical Storm “Washi” killed more than a thousand. It led the world in disaster mortality last year (2012). About ten percent of its gross national product is lost each year to calamities.
Geographically and geologically, it sits in the crosshairs.
In fact a quake rattled the Philippines right after the super-typhoon. It was seismic activity along the ring that caused Fukushima two years ago. There are (literally) underlying reasons.
Are there spiritual reasons as well?
Or is this “curiosity,” which the Pope warns about?
“And when we want to be the masters of the projects of God, of the future, of things, to know everything, to have everything in hand… the Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘When will the Kingdom of God come?’ Curious! They wanted to know the date, the day… The spirit of curiosity distances us from the Spirit of wisdom because all that interests us is the details, the news, the little stories of the day,” he said today (11/14/13).
“Oh, how will this come about? It is the how: it is the spirit of the how! And the spirit of curiosity is not a good spirit. It is the spirit of dispersion, of distancing oneself from God, the spirit of talking too much. And Jesus also tells us something interesting: this spirit of curiosity, which is worldly, leads us to confusion.” Curiosity, the Pope continued, impels us to want to feel that the Lord is here or rather there, or leads us to say: “But I know a visionary, who receives letters from Our Lady, messages from Our Lady.” And the Pope commented: “But, look, Our Lady is the Mother of everyone! And she loves all of us. She is not a postmaster, sending messages every day.”
And so we weigh “curiosity” with discerning what Jesus called the signs of our time. How far to go? Asserts another viewer, Pam Nicholson, in the mailbag: “I have been tracking these mega-storms and earthquakes for sometime now. China, Chile, Philippines (same city of Tacloban on Leyte Island where Freemasonry has been gaining strength since early in 21st century, where Yolanda struck the same exact area which has been having much activity in the way of Freemasonic lodge multiplicity: Have you noticed that when you Google for Freemasonic lodges in these places in the last ten years, there has been great activity of Freemasonry in places like Tacloban? Now, we have Haiyan?”
Freemasonry has been around there since the 1850s and the evil in society goes beyond any single group.
But it all flows together: sexual immorality, abuse of nature, abortion, the occult, materialism.
The latter has been emphasized at approved sites of apparition. Let skeptics read Scripture.
Human trafficking and prostitution are a significant issue in the Philippines.
There are many good. There are also blazing hotspots of evil. Wherever we are, evil lowers the wall of God’s protection.
Take Cebu, where so much occurs. It is estimated there are 10,000 young girls trafficked into sex slavery there.
In the southern Philippines, Christian churches have been ransacked.
Believers in Jesus are taken hostage here; a priest was kidnapped by Muslims; a Catholic missionary was murdered [see reports].
Can we really peg a particular storm to a “warning” or “chastisement”?
We certainly can when it comes to famine, crop failure, war, and epidemics — which have been foretold as chastisements at places such as LaSalette and Fatima. And the name “Katrina” means “purification” (for those who log synchronicity).
Is synchronicity a curiosity?
In the Philippines, perhaps we are also shown how it rains on both the evil and good.
Jesus said that.
But as in so many cases — as with “Katrina,” as with “Sandy,” as with quakes in South America — along with the destruction, including to churches, are those striking photographs of statues that somehow make it through unscathed.
Some claim a statue of Our Lady of Fatima on the island of Cebu somehow twisted on its pedestal after that recent quake there. “Was Our Lady trying to give them a warning of the approaching hurricane and the devastation?” asked another viewer.
“Miracle in Alcantra Town Church,” blared a headline in a Filipino newspaper called The Freeman. “Hundreds of devotees flocked to the St. Augustine Parish in Poblacion, Alcantara, a town in southern Cebu, after the image of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary reportedly moved its head to the right, facing Bohol. Alcantara resident Bebe Quiroga, 63, who is a member of the Parish Pastoral Council-Worship Committee, told The Freeman that they were amazed upon seeing the head of the image of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, which originally was facing front, face to the right, in the direction of where Bohol is. Quiroga said they tried moving the head back to its original position but could not do so.
“The image of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary was placed in front of the altar of the church because it is the Rosary Month and residents would pray the Rosary every dawn and at 6 in the evening.
“Residents immediately linked what they called a ‘miracle’ to the earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol last October 15, which killed over a hundred and destroyed buildings, mostly decades-old churches in Bohol. Quiroga believes the ‘miracle’ is Mother Mary’s message to Filipinos to have faith and believe in God.”
The statue is now under diocesan investigation (for our discernment).
There have been many reports of miracles on this chain of islands. Cebu is just across a strait of water from Bohol and Tacloban.
Last April (2013), a statue in Cebu supposedly wept blood.
When it’s unsightly, we step back in even more cautious discernment. But we’ll keep an open mind; there are many messages about events from Vatican-approved apparitions.
Above all, however, we turn to Scripture. Today, Ezekiel 12:21-26:
“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, what is this proverb you people have concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days are long and every vision fails’? Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will make this proverb cease so that they will no longer use it as a proverb in Israel.” But tell them, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision. For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I the Lord will speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it,” declares the Lord God.’
“Furthermore, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, behold, the house of Israel is saying, “The vision that he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies of times far off.” Therefore say to them, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed,”‘ declares the Lord God.”
[resources: Fear of Fire, The Final Hour, and Michael Brown retreat, North Carolina]