Sunday, September 27, 2015


...of  a notable "blood moon" glowing in the sky, and a lunar eclipse, some people are apparently announcing that there is going to be a Great Catastrophe shortly from which only a remnant of us will survive  or - another school of thought - that the world is about to end and no one will survive at all. Or that there will be a sort of middling catastrophe. Or something.

As a Catholic journalist, one gets used to prophesies. My personal favourite among the nonsensicals was the chap in America who announced that high floodwater affecting Lourdes was a sign that Blessed John Paul (the object of his vicious and ill-tempered loathing) should not have been beatified, and that something would happen to prevent the canonisation.  Uh? No, I didn't get the connection either - and nor did Heaven, The glorious canonisation took place in Rome with millions watching: beloved John Paul the Great and dear John XXIII, canonised by Pope Francis with Pope Benedict in enthusiastic attendance: two Popes in Heaven and two (one Emeritus) on earth, all in prayer together - a first in history. And Lourdes - which St John paul so loved - contnues to flourish, and treasures his memory.

No apology from the chap in America - he's probably still sulking.

Another chap - this in a paperback sent to me in the mid-1980s - announced a series of natural disasters in Britain from which the Royal Family would seek to escape by flying to Bermuda, only to be killed en route. And all the offshore islands around our coasts (Isle of Wight? Ireland? He didn't specifiy) would suddenly disappear.

Then there are the conspiracy types: there is Going to be a Great Catastrophe But They're Keeping the Secret From Us. The last two Popes, in league with all sorts of Secret Societies, conspired to  Stop Us Discovering the Secret. Often this comes with a plea to attend a conference/read a publication/support a campaign to ensure that The Hidden Secret Will Be Announced At Last.

And then there's the Rapture...predicted now for several decades, with each prediction passing its sell-by date.

Meanwhile the moon hangs in the sky, and  men make errors and wars, and humanity - with its tragedies, achievements,  hopes, disapointments and mistakes -  muddles on..  No one in the Spring of 1914 predicted the horror that was to unfold in Europe that summer, no one in 1869 predicted that in exactly 100 years Americans would walk on the moon and speak directly from there to people on earth. In the reign of Elizabeth I, no soothsayer foresaw a nobler and greater Elizabeth who would one day welcome a Pope to our shores. In the 18th century no prophet from Grantham announced that a daughter of the town's grocer would become Prime Minister in the 20th.

The certainties for the future are God's continued love, and humanity's continued follies and occasional greatness...and the general unpredictability of things.

Enjoy the glowing moon and don't be afraid.


Pelerin said...

There was a series of magnificent photos taken from around the world on the Daily Telegraph website showing the blood-red moon against different buildings. I cannot understand how anyone can remain atheist when viewing such an event.

Regarding prophesies of doom I well remember sometime in the 50s reading of a group of people who sold all their posessions and proceeded to go up a mountain and wait for 'the end.' Of course nothing happened and I expect they were rather sheepish when they had to come down back to reality! And whatever happened to those sandwich men we used to see walking up and down the street bearing their placards saying 'The end is nigh?' I used to wonder if they got paid and if so by whom? Have not seen them for many years (there used to be one here for a long time) so presume whoever sponsored them must have died long ago.

Wayne S. said...

We watched in awe on this side of the Atlantic. What a spectral vision! ...small wonder it inspires apocalyptic thoughts