About two weeks ago, a friend pointed me to St Matthew’s caution:
From Matthew 24:
Jesus said.. When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains:  And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house:  And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. … For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.  And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened.
It has been weeks of being in a deadened state inside. From being unable to ‘feel’ much, I have progressed to being unable to feel anything. The intuition I’ve long relied on, the press of spirit that is my personal tool of discernment…it’s all gone. Dead. The great beauty of the world around me, the smell of the winds, the bird melodies – all that means so much to me – now fall upon deadened senses. That is my inner condition. Nothing arouses me. Everything is bare and empty inside.
But something sparked the day I read those verses in Matthew 24. A spark that immediately transported me into a state of internal alertness, when nothing else could.
In that brief moment, I knew I was being asked to pay attention.
Just one spark and immediately after, I went dead again.
Until Hurricane Matthew roared to life last week.
There’s something about this new hurricane. It could be argued that it’s tugging at me only because it shares the same name as the Gospel that caught me. But even if it is true, why is it that, while nothing else can bring my spirit to life, this hurricane can? By doing the very same that Matthew 24 did to me -sparking life in what seems dead? By renewing the zeal to storm heaven for others? No other news or article is able to do that. No other beauty. No other joy.
Only Matthew 24 and this hurricane of the same name.
Still wondering, I caught sight of a New York Times headline:
As Hurricane Matthew nears U.S., Residents Get Warning: Prepare
A common enough word. Except that it reached out and caught me. The same word from Lent this year – Prepare for A Coming Waters. To be dead, but to come alive only by this – is He helping me filter out the inconsequential so the eyes of my spirit rest only on what matters?
I return to the matter at hand. Matthew? Hurricane? Prepare? Which do I focus on? Immediately, I felt the others fade out, leaving only PREPARE. The coming months look to be the busiest ever for me. To be stilled right in the middle of a frenetic pace of work tells of the exigency of the call to pull away and go into the mountains.
I resolve to deepen my prayers begging for God’s mercy for my family, myself. For dying and dead souls who have lost sight of the Light. I lash my will to the Divine Mercy chaplet.
Then, I recall the words that stayed before my eyes at Mass last week: