Thursday, June 25, 2009


The Power of The Warning
To a question about the nature of the warning, Conchita once replied:

“It will be like fire. It will not burn our flesh but we will feel it bodily and interiorly.” We must allow that Conchita gropes for human words, admittedly inadequate, to convey her understanding of the nature of the warning. In fact, she said that the warning would be “like” fire; she did not say that it would be fire. To Conchita, there are two things that the warning and the fire have in common: they can be “seen” and “felt,” and they are “very terrifying.” Hence her use of the words: “like fire.” In this same context—an attempt to make identifiable comparisons—I submit that the warning is “like (our understanding of) Purgatory.”

Based on the doctrine of the Church, we understand Purgatory to be a place or condition of purification, wherein we are made clean—prepared, so to speak—to behold the Beatific Vision. We accept that some sort of suffering is necessary to this purifying process, a suffering that prevails but does not destroy. All of this can be likened to the warning, which “will purify us for the miracle,” which will be “like a chastisement” in that we will suffer; and which we will endure “bodily and interiorly” but which will not destroy us.(2)To extend this a little more, the soul in Purgatory, having stood before God in judgment, now exists in the light of truth. With perfect clarity, he understands the extent and consequences of his sins. Similarly, “the warning will be like a revelation of our sins.” We shall see the consequences of the sins we have committed.

This likening of the Garabandal warning to Purgatory is my own entirely; in no way has Purgatory been mentioned in connection with the warning either by Our Lady or the visionaries. And I make the comparison only to underscore the magnitude and power of the warning: “Like” Purgatory, it will be a revelation of our sins, a severe but thoroughly just suffering, a no-turning-back, purifying confrontation with truth for each of us.

Our Lady told Conchita that “we should bear this suffering for the sake of her Son, victim of the gravest offenses.” This is the language of penance and reparation. However, it is possible–and this again is my own reflection—that, while we are experiencing the warning, we will not be able to make this penance offering or any other comforting identification, so absorbed will we be with the calamity visible to us and within us.(3)Hence the necessity to “condition” our souls for it now, while we have the faculty to reflect and the presence of mind to make penance and reparation. I believe that the warning will go easier for us to the extent that we prepare for it now through penance and the overall fulfillment of the message of Garabandal.

Directly from God
A “warning” is not unusual in God’s dealings with men. We see it frequently in the Old Testament; we have seen it in our age at Fatima.(4)God has used varied elements, plagues, wars, and even natural phenomena to warn sinful men that they must amend their ways or suffer chastisement. The Garabandal warning is unprecedented, however in that it will be universal: “All nations and all persons will experience it in the same way; it will be visible throughout the entire world, in whatever place anyone might be; experienced equally by believers and non-believers and people of any religions whatsoever.”

This universal aspect, especially the fact that everyone will experience it “in the same way,” will convince men that God has done it. We are further assured of this important factor in Conchita’s response to these questions:
Will the warning be recognized and accepted by the world as a direct sign from God? –Certainly (claro), and for this reason I believe it is impossible that the world could be so hardened as not to change.

What about the many people who do not know Christ; how will they understand the warning? –For those who do not know Christ (non-Christian) they will believe it is a warning from God.

We may also dismiss speculation about comets, earthquakes, and other chariots of doom so readily heralded by the pseudo prophets of our time:

We have heard that some say the warning may be a natural phenomenon but will be used by God to speak to mankind.–The warning is something supernatural and will not be explained by science.

The great power of this is obvious. In an age when men fearlessly question, even deny, the existence of God and rampant wickedness openly mocks Him, the Almighty will say clearly, “I am here.” All men will acknowledge God, understand how they have offended Him, and necessarily feel remorse and a desire to make amends. “The warning will be a correction of the conscience of the world.”

Our Lady did not reveal the duration of the warning. Shortly after the apparition, when Conchita learned of the warning, she told her aunt and Godmother, Maximina Gonzalez, about it. Maximina asked how long the calamity would last. Conchita said that she didn’t know, but that “we could suffer it by night as well as by day.” In this same conversation, Conchita said: “It is better to die than to suffer just five minutes of what is to happen to us.”(5)In 1970, asked the same question by NEEDLES, Conchita repeated that she didn’t know but that two minutes of it will be enough for anybody.”

These statements lead us to reflect that the warning is probably of short duration, but nonetheless- powerful.

What can we expect from men as individuals, and the world collectively after the warning? I think that, while we would be off base in underestimating the power of the warning to re-direct men, it would be inaccurate to expect that the warning will settle everything, that evil will no longer exist on earth.

There’s no question that, while the warning is being experienced, all knees will bend before God. But, afterwards? Remember that the warning will not involve the elements—there will not be destruction on earth. Men will have only the memory of their personal experience, etched deeply to be sure, but only a memory. The right use of free will and the nourishing of faith will still be necessary in man’s day-to-day journey through life.

Our Lady said the purpose of the warning “is to draw the good nearer to God and to warn the others (that they must reform),” and God wishes that through this warning we amend our lives and commit less sins against Him.” To a woman who expressed her fears about the warning, Conchita remarked: “ Oh, but after the warning you will love God very much.” Another time Conchita said, “ I think those that do not despair will experience great good from it (the warning) for their sanctification.” All of this leads to reflect that, at least for a time, there will be very much love and service to God. The warning has the purpose and the power to achieve this, but to what extent and for how long depends on men.

Those of us who have been working to spread the message of Garabandal can expect that, after the warning, ears and hearts will open as never before. Still, we mustn’t expect that everyone will hop on the “Garabandal” bandwagon as such. The message stands by itself; it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) need the reinforcement of apparitions. What I’m saying is that the warning will not tell the world, “Believe in apparitions!” Those who haven’t heard about Garabandal in these years before the warning will not even make the connection. But the warning will, by its nature, inspire fulfillment of the message. The Rosary and Scapular programs, Eucharistic vigils, and other seeds we are sowing now in our respective dioceses will provide the structure by which great numbers of souls, made more receptive by the warning, may begin to fulfill the message in earnest.

Finally, after the warning we can expect far more cooperation from news media regarding the apparitions of Garabandal. This will foster an understanding of the warning in connection with the apparitions and, therefore, greater understanding of the full content of the Garabandal event. Accordingly, we will probably see widespread preparation for the prophesied miracle, and this must include methods of transporting great numbers of people, especially the sick, to Garabandal. The village itself and the mountains surrounding it must be prepared to accommodate multitudes.

How much time will we have to prepare? Asked this question in 1965, Conchita replied: “The miracle will not delay in coming.” She added, and this applies to the warning as well: “Although it is taking time to come, it will not be late. God’s time is always the appropriate time.” In a recent interview with NEEDLES Conchita again stressed the need to fulfill the message in preparation for the warning and the miracle. She said that during the apparitions Our Lady made her understand: “Everything is coming soon”.

  1. Of the three major prophecies of Garabandal, the warning, the miracle, and the chastisement, only the chastisement is not a certainty regarding the fulfillment. It was always presented by Our Lady as something that could be averted if the world fulfilled the requests outlined in the formal message she gives to the world at Garabandal. The other Garabandal prophecies are less dramatic in scope but nonetheless certain and authenticating. Some of these, the denials and doubts of the visionaries, for example, have already come to pass.

  2. Asked if the warning would cause people to die, Conchita responded: “I think that if that happens it will be through fear.” Another time she replied: “I don’t know. They could only die of the emotional shock of seeing it.” Considering the event as a whole, my own conclusion is that, differing from the chastisement, it is not the design of the warning to strike fatal blows. However, it is plausible, even probable, that many will die from fear.

  3. My personal opinion is that the warning will be of very short duration. I base this on my feeling that the warning, particularly “the revelation of our sins,” will be too horrible to withstand for any length of time. Thus, because of the shortness and horror of the event, I feel that we will be thoroughly incapacitated as far as any kind of thoughtful prayer is concerned. Other opinions are certainly possible. The purpose of this article is to stimulate reflection.

  4. In the apparitions of Fatima, Our Lady said, on July 13, 1917: "When you see the night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign which God is giving you, indicating that the world, on account of its innumerable crimes, will soon be punished by war . . . . In order to stop it, I . . . ask for the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart . . " The Fatima visionary, Lucia, said that the "sign of God" (warning) was the extraordinary aurora borealis which illuminated a large area of Europe for a long period of the night January 25-26, 1938.

  5. These statements are made in a signed document by Maximina Gonzalez. The document comes to us from Fr. Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, the Spanish Capuchin who has done much writing about the Garabandal events.