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A reader writes…

A reader writes… July 18, 2011

Spirit Daily had “musings” on this website:

I went to check it out, out of curiosity, and some of the messages on there just reeked of inauthenticity. (Is that a word?)

For example:

Your money will be worthless and the only way to trade will be in gold or silver. (Sounds like an ad for gold and silver that I saw on “survival” sites.)

Do not be surprised or overwhelmed for this is a very sacred task and you have been chosen to do this work with Me. It will take you three months. I want you to publish it around the world. It must be large, powerful and sought out by millions just like the Holy Bible.

The war, which I speak about is being orchestrated by the Red Dragon now. The Dragon, the new world energy, is scheming now and will destroy cities in the West. The time is close. Pray pray for conversion as this evil cannot be stopped as there is not enough prayer to prevent it. Pray for those souls, who through this nuclear war will die.

Grow your food. Find shelters in time where you can meet to give homage to your divine Savior. Just keep strong. Don’t tell too many people why are you are doing this. (Aren’t these kinds of messages supposed to help the whole world?)

My beloved daughter you are now being given the final messages for mankind to digest before the end times in order to save their souls. (This “tribulation” is supposed to start this year.)

The constant pursuit of luxury goods which you prioritise over your families welfare is rampant. (Luxury goods? That doesn’t strike me as something Jesus would say.)

Please ask singers, the media, personalities or anyone whose voice is listened to and respected to hear My pleas.

There’s a lot more.

I prayed the Scriptural Rosary last night and I was getting a strong feeling to stay away from these messages.

For one thing, the name of the locutionist is spelled wrong on the site – Maria Devine Mercy.

There’s no contact information other than an email address – and they’re asking for donations.

It links to Spirit Daily and Signs and Wonders for our Times – a magazine which promotes many unapproved apparitions.

A Google search didn’t turn up any information on this locutionist.

Why do I get the feeling this may be a scam cobbled together by people wanting to scare the living daylights out of others?

Yeah. This is one of the reasons I tend to shy away from Spirit Daily. They seem to have the History Channel approach to all claims of paranormal signs and wonders:

1. Take some outrageous and baseless claim made by some mystic somewhere.
2. State the baseless claim as a question or “musing”: (“Could it be that the Blessed Virgin is appearing in the form of old coffee grounds splattered against the side of a dumpster behind Johnny’s House o’Beans in Sausalito, California? And if so, why? Might it have something to do with Sausalito’s support for gay marriage? And would it not make sense that God would send our Blessed Mother to warn us of this?”).
3. Morph the questions into a basis for an argument, typically having to do with deep wells of fear (“Given what we know about how God has been trying to warn us through the recent apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it appears the end times are upon us!”)
4. Combine past alleged appparitions and rumors together to build up a vibe of fear and paranoia, having something to do with economics, one world governments, three days of darkness, the Warning, bees wax candles, and general ambient fear of a nameless terror.

What I find interesting is how much a part of the zeitgeist or “world spirit” this is and how little the Holy Father or the tradition of the Church backs such panic-mongering. It’s straight out of the Left Behind playbook and various other sectarian cults of fear, not out of Catholic teaching. And indeed, you can find it all over the place on the Beckified paranoid Right and the Ecocatastropic Left, which both see terror in everything, including price hikes at Netflix. No, seriously. Here is some dude in a combox freaking out over Netflix raising their rates a few bucks:

I remember when Home Depot came into the picture back in the late 70’s. I told my father,” Cool! we’ll be able to pick up everything at one place!” He looked at me and said, “Son, this is the most un American thing that could ever happen!” Well, after all the local om and pop shops went out of business, Hoe Depot raised thier prices to double what it used to cost us! So heres the bottom line America, your country has been taken over! By corporate greedy scum. Who sell you crap made in tiawan, China, and now Rohwanda, made by slave children.Do not express your anger in postings, or comments, you will be tracked and killed. Theres no place for you in this New World Order. Just quietly stop supporting these giant conglomerates. Stop watching movies, t.v., teach your children at home, grow your own food, get to know your neighbors. One by one these companies will disappear, because they are ruled by profit! And when the profit margin shrinks, they grab the money and run! All they want on this earth is overweight, diabetic,wal mart shoppers, who dont question authority.

As a Chestertonian, I’m not keen on giant corporations destroying mom and pop businesses. But at the same time, there is something marvelously provincial about the suburban American discerning the End of Days in a price rise for DVDs. People need to contemplate the words of St. Paul (who really did have to fear for his life at the hands of an antichrist named Nero) when he tells us:

I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. (2 Tim 1:6-7)

“Musings” about “prophecies” like the stuff on Spirit Daily have one concrete, real world effect: they fill people with fear and suffuse their lives with a sense of helplessness against overwhelming evil while teaching them to become passive about obedience to Christ and active about obedience to quack prophets. That is not from the Spirit of Christ. Reject it, listen to Holy Church and not fear-mongering quacks, and get going, doing the work of the gospel.

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