An update, perhaps, on ‘signs of the times’
In the news are certain items that edge onto the terrain of prophetic forerunners, the future, perhaps, in microcosm.
As it snows in the Northeast (April!), there is the threat, not far south, of mosquitoes, as if harbingers.
Many potential harbingers. (Is informed forewarned, or negativity?)
In the realm of epidemiology:
— “The more doctors learn about the Zika virus, the more frightening it looks, and money’s urgently needed to fight it, two top health officials said Monday. ‘Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring,’ said Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC’s principal deputy director. ‘Everything we know about this virus seems to be scarier than we initially thought’ (NBC).
— “A 46-year-old landscaper, who does not want to be identified, says last month he went to Brazil to visit his 90-year-old ailing father. While he was there he was bitten by several mosquitoes. When he returned home to the U.S. he discovered he had the Zika virus. ‘My lips burned all over. I could feel my skin shrinking in my face and ears,’ he said. ‘I was very hot'” (CBS Boston ).
— “Federal health officials confirmed Wednesday that the Zika virus causes a rare birth defect and other severe fetal abnormalities, marking a turning point in an epidemic that has spread to more than 40 countries and territories in the Americas and elsewhere” (The Washington Post).
— “A bacterial infection called Elizabethkingia has already claimed at least 20 lives in Wisconsin and Michigan. Now, the first case has been confirmed in Illinois and has taken another life” ( CBS Chicago).
In the realm of war:
“A United States Navy destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft April 11 and 12. USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship” (America’s Navy).
In the realm of upheaval:
— “The militia movement is growing. It was Sunday, training day, and the Indiana Volunteer Militia, one of the largest militias in the state, was practicing how to set up a patrol base and establish perimeter security. Their mission was to fashion a few shelters and secure the base before Nantz made entry. In a real world scenario, Nantz said, when the grid goes down, you have to know how to protect yourself and your family” (The Indianapolis Star).
In the realm of persecution:
“A judge sided with plaintiffs Thursday who claimed it was unconstitutional for Los Angeles County to restore a cross on its seal, marking a victory for a civil rights group in a long-running legal battle” (NBC Los Angeles).
“A large cross commemorating the landing by Spanish explorers in Monterey, California in 1769 was back at Del Monte Beach, erected anonymously over Easter weekend.
“For a few tense days, vampires and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers knew to avoid the area, while families took Easter pictures in front of the Cross. But last Tuesday, beach-goers discovered the cross missing, the victim not of hooligans but of a city crew that was ordered to tear it down earlier that morning before progressive legal sharks even began circling” (Town Hall).
“Like St. Stephen, the first martyr or the children who were killed by Herod, today too there are many Christians who are massacred for their faith in Jesus Christ, while others are “politely” persecuted with “white gloves”, that is they do not shed any blood but experience marginalization and are robbed of their “freedom and even the freedom of conscientious objection!” Pope Francis spoke out against this at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House” (Pope Francis, 4/12/16).
In the realm of natural disruption:
“[Climate change] is changing the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis, a new NASA study has found. Melting ice sheets, especially in Greenland, are changing the distribution of weight on Earth. And that has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course, according to a study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances” (The London Guardian).
“The specter of a geomagnetic solar storm with the ferocity to disrupt communications satellites, knock out GPS systems, shut down air travel and quench lights, computers and telephones in millions of homes for days, months or even years has yet to grip the public as a panic-inducing possibility. But it is a scenario that space scientists, global insurance corporations and government agencies from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to NASA to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) take seriously, calling it a ‘low probability but high-impact event’ that merits a substantial push on several fronts: research, forecasting and mitigation strategy” (Space Daily).
In the realm of astronomy:
“An international team of astronomers has discovered one of the youngest and brightest free-floating, planet-like objects within relatively close proximity to the sun. It is between 4.3 and 7.6 times the mass of Jupiter, and hence falls in the mass range between a massive gaseous planet and a small brown dwarf. It belongs in the youngest group of stars in the solar neighborhood, known collectively as the TW Hydrae association, which contains about two dozen 10 million-year-old stars, all moving together through space” (Sci-News Today).
“Now, after two years of study, the information gathered by the mission is being released to the public. This included, most recently, NEOWISE’s second year of survey data, which accounted for 72 previously unknown objects that orbit near to our planet. Of these, eight were classified as potentially hazardous asteroids, based on their size and how closely their orbits approach earth” (Universe Today).
“Mainstream news outlets are already starting to use the phrase ‘economic collapse’ to describe what is going on in some areas of our world right now. For many Americans this may seem a bit strange, but the truth is that the worldwide economic slowdown that began during the second half of last year is starting to get a lot worse” (Charisma News).
This is all in just the past few days.
Need we mention Korea, or Syria, or Afghanistan; the quakes; the swerving unnerving weather in the South?
These things always happen.
But in quite such juxtaposition?
[resources: Sent To Earth; said Mother Angelica (2000) of it: “If you didn’t buy his book, you’re missing it. It’s not a scary book; it’s a very good book. If you haven’t bought it I would buy it. I think it’s a great book, just terrific. I think it’s important for my future and your future. I want you to read Sent To Earth. Why? It’s logical, it’s truthful, it’s sensible, and it’s God’s way of saying, ‘Let’s be ready.'”]
February retreat in Vero Beach; details here]
[March retreat in Atlanta]