End Times. Tribulation. Three Days of Darkness.
I was raised a Southern Baptist so it's in my DNA to be scared of 'The Tribulation' which I think is the baptist version of the 3 Days of Darkness. What's in a name? :) It's still scary to think about! Regardless of what flavor of Christian you are, we all agree that the End Times are going to get QUITE ugly.
Doing lots of online reading...I didn't know about blacking out the windows. You know, (not that I am an authority by any stretch of the imagination... this is only my opinion), but I believe God will provide for us whether we are ready for the 3DOD//Tribulation or not. God is loving and merciful. And as long as we love and serve Him and are in a state of Grace then we've really nothing to fear anyway, you know? :) Though I do think we should be prepared.
I am wondering what the official church teaching is on this. I don't believe that God wants us to freak out and worry. We should continue going to mass and frequent confession and love and serve Him as He wants us to. We are encouraged to have home shrines, blessed candles, have our homes blessed, and use Sacramentals, as that's what they are for is to help us. They are little gifts to us from God. Not good luck charms as the power is from God and not the items. What comes to mind is what the priest says in mass...
"Deliver us, O Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ."
Isn't that what we 'should' be doing? Waiting in joyful hope? :)
Sacramentals are part of our armor to keep evil away from us and out of our homes. Stuff we should have on hand anyway. :)
A biggie that everyone needs.. Blessed salt.. get several boxes of it... add a pinch to things you cook. Not for seasoning but for the blessing that is in it. I do it for everything I cook here. Whomever eats your prepared food will be getting blessed and not even realizing it. Blessed salt and holy water are powerful Sacramentals!! When your difficult child (teenager) is not at home, go in there and spritz their bedroom with Holy Water and pray out loud... I have done this several times myself, in our home. Hubby and I rarely argue, but when we do, I use the holy water.. and bless the house and sprinkle the blessed salt and pray through the whole house. You will be surprised at the difference it will make.
I have a pie safe I use as our home shrine. One of the reason my pie safe works well as a shrine table is I can store my candles and incense and matches and everything else inside of it. You can find them used... we got ours free. Yes you can use any table surface but you need a place to store your things so they'll be safe and not broken or messed up. And where you can easily find them when you want them.
My pie safe (shrine table) contains blessed candles, blessed salt, holy water, blessed medals, and so on. As I pick them up, I get blessed medals and prayer cards and try to get them all blessed. I keep all blessed things together. When I find copies of the Catholic bible or the Catechism I pick them up... thrift stores are good.. and I want to make sure I have them for every member of the family and then pick up more as I can for loved ones and friends. In the world we live in, we need to be "armed"!! Rosaries, rosaries, rosaries!!! Even the "cheapie" ones... better than nothing!! Get them blessed and have them put up to give to someone who has nothing and will be grateful to have it in their hands. I do believe the day will come we will not be able to buy catechisms anymore... the country is already so far from God... just frightening. We need to be ready! So even those free little prayer cards and stuff you get in the mail... save those. St Benedict medals, St Michael the Archangel medals, and The Miraculous Medal... and most of all the rosary. Even the little cheapie ones that are like .50c are powerful.. have them blessed and keep them on hand! OH!! Brown scapulars!!!!
If you have a Mary Garden or such... roses or plants that you've planted in Mary's honor, or if you have existing plants and wish to use them to honor her,... you can use cut flowers and dry the petals to make potpourri.. Roses, lavender, garden sage, cedar, (those are the ones I know about) can all be used. Oh and I think marigolds and violets. Dry them as potpourri, and then if you want to burn them like as an incense you can. I use a large shell but you can use any heat proof dish... even a Terra cotta pot... and put about an inch of sand in the bottom and then one of those lighting charcoals specially made for incense, not the kind you grill with. Get it lit and when it's going good you can add your dried flowers and leaves and it makes a lovely natural incense. :) Another thing... when you prune roses... take all of it... flowers, stalks, leaves.. everything... and put into a big pot with water and simmer it for hours... make your own rose water. Pour into bottles and you can have it blessed it you want to, or you can use a little of it when you rinse your hair. :) It smells good!! If you have it blessed and use a little in your hair then it's like a little blessing for you. :)
As far as some of the herbs mentioned in 3DOD sites..... I think it makes sense to just grow it yourself. You can dry it and store it. Seep it in blessed oils. Put into your dehydrator. Stuff like that. When you have plenty and have "enough to share" you can use in teas, tinctures, oils, or with your dried potpourri items you use as "homemade incense" for prayer. :) Again, just my ideas and thoughts.
So, if I am so "trusting" in God, then 'why' prepare? People have harvested and stored food since the beginning of time, in preparation for winter, hard times, etc. Where we live, we prepare for hurricanes. I don't know if a hurricane will hit us or not for that season.. but I will have food and water stored just in case for my family. But not only physical needs should be met. More than anything, we need to be concerned for our Spiritual needs. How do YOU prepare for your family? I'd love to hear any ideas or thoughts. :)