I suppose this post is intended mainly for visitors and the newer members of the forum. It is NOT intended to judge or criticize any individuals, but rather as a caution against getting caught up and spending too much time speculating about the future to the detriment of fulfilling our mission today. We here are aware of the private revelations concerning our times and certain prophecies regarding predicted future events like the Warning and the Miracle and others. Our awareness of the darkness of today’s relativistic and atheistic world – the evilness of our times – creates for us in our hearts a longing for a world that turns back to God. I remember when I came home from my pilgrimage to Medjugorje, I wanted to share the message with everyone. When I tried to tell people beyond my faith community about it, reactions ranged from unbelief to outright animosity to responses like, “Oh I believe it, I just don’t feel any need to go” (or to change the way they’re living their life in any way). Trying to evangelize in today’s secular society often feels like trying to swim upstream in a rapid current – we’re going nowhere fast, except backward maybe. Despite our best efforts – our prayers and fasting and efforts to spread the good news – we see our family members leaving the Church for a “feel-good” church, or worse losing their faith altogether. We see our world becoming ever more sinful, and we see the fruits of this Godlessness – escalating crime, natural disasters, terrorism, and war – and we see the innocent victims of all these things… And we want it to stop! Out hearts cry out for God to do something, and we pray for the coming of the Warning and the Miracle and the era of peace… So we here in this forum observe the signs of the times; we recognize the ever-increasing amount of private revelation poured out in the world today, and we try to discern the true from the false. Sometimes some of the courageous members share their own mystical experiences. Our “spiritual sense” tells us that events are escalating and the time that God will act in a biblical way is fast approaching. We discuss all these things, and we fall into speculation about how soon before something will happen. Just this morning, I was reading one thread here in which this speculation on the future continues. Our friend Norman Holland states that he believes the era of peace will begin as soon as 2015 to 2020 (I’m NOT criticizing Norman here – it’s just that his speculation triggered the following direction of my thinking). 2015 to 2020…I thought to myself, “That’s really soon” – that didn’t leave a lot of time for a lot of things like civil unrest and wars that I had in my mind that would happen in the interim between the Warning and the era of peace… And then I realized how much my thinking of what will happen in the future was still influenced by the predictions and timelines of another… I was reminded of my involvement with this individual who for years claimed to know the dates of the Warning and Miracle but wouldn’t share them with anyone. Then he did reveal the supposed dates, and they came and went and nothing happened. Many people were misled along with me – I do NOT believe this individual misled us purposely – I think he deceived himself along with the rest of us… I remember another incident from a few years before I became involved with the above individual, some close personal spiritual friends of mine, a very devout couple, shared a date with me given to them from a very holy priest. They believed it was the date of the Warning. The day came and passed, and no Warning. The above incidents have taught me something echoed by Jesus’ words in today’s first reading from Acts: “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.” I once spent a lot of time studying the Sacred Scriptures, reading private revelation – the writings of the Saints, the prophecies of Marian apparitions (Medjugorje and others), etc. – and I believed I began to gain some insight. I began to see reoccurring dates and correlations of numbers in these dates with certain scriptures. But after all my study and prayer and consideration, I still don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Are all these reoccurring dates and numbers just coincidence? No, when it comes to God I don’t believe in coincidence. It is enough for me to see these things as a sign that the all powerful God is in control and the Divine Hand of Providence is guiding things. I’m sure that if the Lord wants me to know something about the future, He’ll let me know in no uncertain terms. God could let me know the future if He wants, but He wants me to live by faith. We live in uncertain times with the ever declining moral fabric of our society, escalating natural disasters, economic decline, etc., and we want peace and a world that puts God in the first place. It’s only natural and human to want to know that the future will be OK. There’s nothing wrong with longing in our hearts for an era of peace. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this life, but He gives us His peace. I personally have come to understand that it is a great gift to live by faith. And I know that what the Lord expects from the faithful is echoed in His next sentence from this morning’s first reading: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses… I have to get to work now, so I’ll have to conclude this later. In the meantime, feel free to chime in.