Why Are Signs Appearing in the Heavens, and What Do They Mean?

Why Are Signs Appearing in the Heavens, and What Do They Mean?
Why Are Signs Appearing in the Heavens, and What Do They Mean?

By all metrics, the skies of 2024 are overwhelming in their display of the extraordinary. Celestial spectacles are appearing with increasing frequency for those who know how to gaze heavenward in wonder.

Many witnessed eclipses on March 25 and April 8, which darkened many parts of the earth. However, the most spectacular displays were the mid-May Aurora Borealis events, which appeared over vast sectors of the Northern Hemisphere. Known as the Northern Lights, these presentations of colored lights are rarely seen south of the 50-degree latitude line.

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These particular spectacles, however, appeared in all their glory as far south as the Cayman Islands (at 19 degrees latitude). A corresponding display was also seen in the Southern Hemisphere in a phenomenon known as Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights. Newspapers and sites worldwide documented both phenomena with magnificent pictures of dazzling curtains of colored lights that appeared on the horizon everywhere.

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These are not just any signs. Astronomers watched with great delight, declaring the displays to be the most impressive outbursts of Northern Lights in over five hundred years. They are already the most documented and photographed in history.

For those who missed it, the sun’s activity continues to be extremely intense. Most scientists have not ruled out repeat performances this summer.

In addition, a magnificent comet is scheduled to visit the Earth in October. It will penetrate the night sky and be visible to the naked eye with extraordinary brightness.

Signs of the Times

All these are signs of the times.

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Even the most skeptical observer has to admit something extraordinary is happening. No one can contest so much overwhelming evidence.

The real question is, what do these sights mean?

The modern world has long banished God from history. Thus, the official secular view is to refuse to see anything beyond the natural scientific explanations of what is happening in these signs.

Ironically, the same world that is willing to read meaning into every so-called climate-change event denies any purpose behind these marvelous and ordered displays.

The Heavens for Those Who Believe in Heaven

However, those with Christian Faith view the heavens differently. The Catholic Encyclopedia reports that “although God is omnipresent, He manifests Himself in a special manner in the light and grandeur of the firmament.”

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Indeed, Psalm 18 says, “The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.” Thus, it would make sense that heavenly signs convey something of God’s intentions in history.

Nothing in Church teaching is against finding meaning or intention in such signs. As Creator of the Universe, God often uses secondary and natural causes to act and manifest Himself to humanity. He can highlight these natural signs to appear extraordinary to human sight.

He can inspire souls to interpret and understand the symbolism behind the signs of the times. He can make them appear as harbingers of events provoked by sinful humanity.

Under the careful guidance of the Church, signs in the heavens can orient souls to understand the times. They should, however, support, not replace the Faith. Indeed, Christ constantly complains about those shallow souls who only want signs, saying, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (John 4:48).

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That is not to say that wonders are bad. Adequately understood, wonders serve and confirm the Faith and avoid the irrationality of superstition.

A Biblical Approach

Reading the signs of the times is also Biblical. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of citations calling attention to the heavens as special manifestations of God.

By signs, people are called to wonder and marvel at what God has wrought for His people. Through them, sinners might also repent and change their ways, as Saint Luke (21:25-27) declares, “And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.”

Numerous examples of signs fill the Scriptures, such as the Star of the Magi, Joshua’s long day and the descent of darkness during Christ’s crucifixion. All allude to momentous developments of God’s plan for humanity as manifested in the heavens.

The Fatima Perspective

Skeptics may say that reading the signs of the times was something for ancient peoples but not for modern humanity with its understanding of science. God no longer manifests Himself in this manner.

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Quite the contrary! Paying attention to the signs in the heavens fits into the Fatima framework—a 1917 apparition in Portugal that speaks of modern times. The Church has long approved Fatima as worthy of belief and supernatural in character.

Indeed, the Fatima message is accompanied by heavenly phenomena of massive proportions as if a rebuke to this incredulous age. Our Lady herself performed a spectacular sign in the hope that hardened modern hearts might be moved to conversion.

The famous Miracle of the Sun took place on October 13, 1917. During this apparition, Our Lady performed a miracle in the heavens where the sun seemed to dance in the sky before 80,000 astonished witnesses.

Additional Signs of the Times

The Fatima Message referred to yet more signs. Our Lady spoke of a great war that would be preceded by lights in the sky as a sign of tragic events to come.

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On the night of January 25-26, 1938, many trembled at a great Aurora Borealis covering vast sectors of the Northern sky. People then at Fatima filled the streets in prayer, seeing in that sign the fulfillment of Our Lady’s warning.

In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, and World War II had begun. Our Lady alluded to yet other conflicts should humanity not convert.

And Today?

Thus, heavenly signs can have meaning even in modern times. There is no reason to exclude the present signs in the heavens from an understanding of events. While modernity has exiled God from events, He can still act to attract the attention of those with Faith.

When the greatest manifestations of an Aurora Borealis in 500 years appear, it should be a cause for reflection. The fact that the world finds itself on the brink of major wars and other disasters only makes these considerations more urgent.

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Indeed, these new signs fit with the events of the times and are consistent with the other warnings to an impenitent humanity that ignored the Fatima message. These sins today are ever more scandalous and widespread and would call for signs of great magnitude.

Such marvelous signs full of dazzling color should also inspire spectators with wonder and awe. Those who read the signs of the times can see God’s desire to attract repentant sinners to him and confide in His Providence and mercy.

Woe to the skeptics who will not even look heavenward, absorbed as they are with the things of this world. They cannot say they were not forewarned.

Photo Credit: © surangaw – stock.adobe.com