Some Stark Observations - Advice - A Time for Rejoicing
New York -- November 2008 -- As an avid reader of US news from foreign sources (where you pick up threads that don't seem to make it into our own news), I began to grow concerned. There was an increase in worrisome economic trends and a clear indication that the balance of international power was about to undergo a radical shift. This wasn't simply about the money-power games the big boys play. This was about the way life in America - and throughout the world - was about to change.
On Passion Sunday 2008, during the Mass "something" (Holy Spirit?) gave me a powerful internal shove to action. I knew that it was time to address the Catholic perspective on what seemed to be the onset of an Economic Chastisement.
When I first published this work, even with substantiating news stories, there were skeptics who thought I was alarmist. Just a few short months ago, who could have imagined the economic turmoil here and abroad. Today, there is little doubt that not only the United States, but the entire world is in serious trouble. Perhaps now it is easier to understand that it is not over. The plummet into the world's worst depression is just getting underway.
I hope you will find this work to be of use as we enter into an era of severe trials. A lot of the content will, no doubt, seem to be eccentric and strange notions. That is natural. Who among us has ever prepared for the possibility of losing everything: what we own, where we live, and even the identity we hold in our careers and communities -- except those who live in areas devastated by hurricanes and tornados.
Maybe that's the best way to think of preparing, if you just can't wrap your mind around the bigger picture yet.
While there will be lots of practical information, our goal is not to teach you how to hoard goods, shoot your neighbors, or how to profit on the backs of others in these strange and terrifying times. This is a guide to help you make some decisions about what you need to create Christian communities. The end goal is not about comfort and coziness. The end goal is saving your soul and helping others to do the same.
The Coming Economic Chastisement
Is there an economic chastisement on the way?
Will the United States – and the whole world – face a global depression of unprecedented proportions?
Only God knows the answer to those questions.
Our world has changed rapidly and not necessarily for the best. We live in an era of excess, one that has a complete disregard for life, and a completely cavalier attitude towards nearly every expectation for a moral, ethical society. We live in a world that glorifies criminals and perversions, one in which most children lose their innocence long before they are ten years old.
We live in an era that has taught us to expect the unexpected. Who could have imagined the horrors of September 11th? Or that our nation would enter a war to chase an enemy that is more like a phantom than a hostile nation of peoples. Who among us would have thought that our own legal system would so bind us with the concept of political correctness, that we are prohibited from even naming that enemy?
Who could have imagined that the once mightiest nation on earth would become so globally reviled, crippled economically by a war we cannot afford, cannot win, and cannot afford to lose.
We watched in horror, on the day after Christmas 2004, from the safety of our living rooms, as Bande Aceh was swallowed by the sea. We could not understand why help did not immediately come to the survivors.
A year passed and back in our own country, who could have imagined the devastation experienced by the communities that suffered through Katrina and Rita. Nor could we imagine that our nation would fail to rebuild those communities even after several years had passed.
These are strange and frightening times. One can't help but reflect on how terribly disappointed God must be with our misuse of wealth and rampant perversion of nearly everything we touch. At times it seems that we are living the midst of Pope Leo XIII’s vision: a hundred year period when the devil is set loose on earth to see what damage he can do.
In these strange times, it is easy to believe in the simplicity of the Third Secret of Fatima: “Repent, Repent, Repent!”
Why is the author of Catholic website writing about economics? I'm not sure. I do know that this scenario has been bubbling in the back of my consciousness for the better part of my life. It is something I think I've always known I would face in my lifetime, something that has permeated my dreams and those moments of spiritual clarity in my deepest moments of prayer.
There is little doubt that the United States is headed for serious economic disaster. Over the last several months news sources have presented a dire string of reports on the fall out from the sub-prime crisis, and increasingly, there is little doubt that the problem extends far beyond mortgages given to people who can't afford them.
We are now faced with the possibility of the collapse of an empty banking system. I won't go into a detailed analysis of the situation because frankly, it is too complicated to understand - even for the financial wizards who created this mess in the first place. One economist noted: "The stock market can’t find its [hind quarters] with both hands and a Chinese made, Wal-Mart sold [hind quarters] finder."
Suffice it to say, economic pundits have stopped using the "R" word (recession) and have started using the "D" word (depression).
The crisis isn't limited to the United States. In a global economy the entire house of cards is about to collapse. Toss in the wild cards of grain shortages, oil wars, outsourcing, climate change (is it global warming or the next ice age?) and international hostilities and you have a really excellent recipe for disaster soup. Add a sprinkling of Islamic terrorists, a dash of crazed Venezuelan dictator and ... well only God knows what's ahead. Expect the unexpected. More
What to Do - When to Do It (NOW!)
What You Need to Have and Need to Know
The materials presented here may seem extreme and more than a little over the top. Maybe they are. Maybe they're not. But if the times we are about to enter are as extreme as many are predicting, these are topics you might want to think about and act on. Soon. Very soon. We are now at the tipping point.
Get Educated. Know what the problem is today, at least to the extent it is relevant to you.
Know that it is all relevant to you.
If your bank closes, you will have only the cash you have on hand. If the dollar continues to plummet, a wheelbarrow full of dollars won’t be enough to buy a loaf of bread. If the firm you or your wife works for goes bankrupt, your pension will be gone, your healthcare will be gone, your savings will be finished.
The coming Depression is very real. Here are a smattering ofnews storiesto think about. Interestingly, most of the news comes from outside the United States. They are not "crackpot" news sources.
Be forewarned. If you make it through reading them all, you will be very upset. Get over it. You have work to do. Keep reading.
If you have no time to read them all, at least read this one. Barton Biggs, a billionaire who was the chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley who formed the hedge fund Traxis Partners, has some advice for his well-heeled buddies:
Insure yourself against war and disaster by buying a remote farm or ranch and stocking it with ``seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc.'' The ``etc.'' means guns.
Learn about the first Great Depression and what real Americans from all walks of life experienced. One of the best books to pick up now is
Visit ourrecommended library page (coming soon) - find these books at garage sales or in the library or shop around for the lowest online prices which, depending on the title, can be just pennies.
Get Your Parish Ready If your parish falls, if you have no place to pray, no community of Christians to rely on, you will be in more trouble than if you had no food or shelter.
Address this step before you address any private concerns.
Your pastor is probably too busy with parish business to keep up with financial news - or at least we hope he is. Get a copy of this book into the hands of your pastor and parish council. We ask that when it is complete, please be honest and pay for their copies since we need to earn a living, too. The following is only a small part of what you can read in our book now.
Social Justice. If your parish doesn't have a social justice committee set up, do it now.
Small Faith Communities. If there is no mechanism in place to help members form small faith communities, start right away.
Parishioner Skills and Talents. Does your parish census have information on skills of parishioners that your pastor can call on in the coming times of trouble?
Get a Grant Writer Most parishes have someone who works on grants like those issued by FEMA or Catholic Charities. Why you need team building in this area immediately.
Security Concerns - Who will protect the Churchand the priests if things turn violent?
The Eucharist This item really should have come first, but we saved it for next to last so that the other items would have a cumulative effect and sink in. Be sure to read this section now. More
Get Rid of Your AddictionsWe all have them and probably more than we’re willing to admit to. Work on getting rid of them now. Soon you won't be able to afford them anyway. More importantly, they are bad habits that come between you and God. More
The Preview Edition of Our Book also includes sections on: