The Great Antidote


Stand your ground…

 

 

HAVE we entered into those times of lawlessness that will culminate in the “lawless one,” as St. Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2? [1]Some Church Fathers saw the Antichrist appearing before the “era of peace” while others toward the end of the world. If one follows St. John’s vision in Revelation, the answer seems to be that they are both right. See The Last Two Eclipses It is an important question, because our Lord himself commanded us to “watch and pray.” Even Pope St. Pius X raised the possibility that, given the spread of what he called “a terrible and deep-rooted malady” that is dragging society to destruction, that is, “apostasy”…

…there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. —POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903

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1. Some Church Fathers saw the Antichrist appearing before the “era of peace” while others toward the end of the world. If one follows St. John’s vision in Revelation, the answer seems to be that they are both right. See The Last Two Eclipses

The Survivors

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 2nd, 2013

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE are some texts in Scripture that, admittedly, are troubling to read. Today’s first reading contains one of them. It speaks of a coming time when the Lord will wash away “the filth of the daughters of Zion”, leaving behind a branch, a people, who are His “luster and glory.”

…the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor for the survivors of Israel. He who remains in Zion and he who is left in Jerusalem will be called holy: every one marked down for life in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:3)

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When Cedars Fall

 

Wail, you cypress trees, for the cedars are fallen,
the mighty have been despoiled. Wail, you oaks of Bashan,
for the impenetrable forest is cut down!
Hark! the wailing of the shepherds,
their glory has been ruined. (Zech 11:2-3)

 

THEY have fallen, one by one, bishop after bishop, priest after priest, ministry after ministry (not to mention, father after father and family after family). And not just little trees—major leaders in the Catholic Faith have fallen like great cedars in a forest.

In a glance over just the past three years, we have seen a stunning collapse of some of the tallest figures in the Church today. The answer for some Catholics has been to hang up their crosses and "quit" the Church; others have taken to the blogosphere to vigorously raze the fallen, while others have engaged in haughty and heated debates in the plethora of religious forums. And then there are those who are quietly weeping or merely sitting in stunned silence as they listen to the echo of these sorrows reverberating throughout the world.

For months now, the words of Our Lady of Akita—given official recognition by no less than the present Pope when he was still Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—have been faintly repeating themselves in the back of my mind:

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In the Days of Lot


Lot Fleeing Sodom
, Benjamin West, 1810

 

THE waves of confusion, calamity, and uncertainty are pounding upon the doors of every nation on earth. As food and fuel prices soar and the world economy sinks like an anchor to the seabed, there is much talk of refuges—safe-havens to weather the approaching Storm. But there is a danger facing some Christians today, and that is to fall into a self-preservationist spirit that is becoming more prevalent. Survivalist websites, ads for emergency kits, power generators, food cookers, and gold and silver offerings… the fear and paranoia today is palpable as insecurity mushrooms. But God is calling His people to a different spirit than that of the world. A spirit of absolute trust.

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