For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.OK. There is probably no truth to this at all. But it was reported on Fox News that the Washington Monument is tilting as a result of the 5.9 earthquake that hit the Washington area today. Here's video. (The comment occurs around 1:45):
– Matthew 24:7-8
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.
– Revelation 11:19-12:2
Yes, there are earthquakes. Yes, there are wars -- especially in the Holy Land. Yes, there are famines. There is persecution of Christians. Additionally, there is tumult in the financial and political worlds.
Now, it is very extremely unlikely that these are signs of the end times. But you should always be ready, right? No one knows when this day will come. And even if we are given a sign by God, how would we know whether to trust it or not?
And on a personal level, anyone of us could die at any instant. We might be given a warning in the form of a terminal illness or we might be struck by a sudden accident. Either way, it is better to prepare our souls now. If we are not willing to allow Jesus into our hearts now, why would the threat of our own death change anything?
Sta. Terésa of Ávila in the "Way of Perfection" recommended reciting the Lord's prayer slowly and thoughtfully. Imagine at the moment of death as you are about to face God's judgement, how these words would take on new meaning if you have allowed Jesus into your heart.
Our Father, who art in HeavenAnd please remember to pray for your loved ones and all the lost souls as Our Lady of Fatima requested of us. It could be that your prayer may convert them at the last moment. It may provide that small spark of faith that they need to accept God's Divine Mercy, rather than being led into temptation and being delivered to the Evil One for an eternity of damnation.
Hallowed by Thy Name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day
Our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from Evil
From the third secret of FatimaOur Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: "Penance, Penance, Penance!"