End Times

Friday, March 28, AD 2014

 

Michelangelo Last Judgment

 

 

Steve Skojec  has an interesting post over at his blog pondering whether we are in the End Times.  It appropriately is entitled Something Wicked:

 

Is there a part of you that aches when you feel a storm coming? An old injury, a creaking joint, maybe your sinuses? For me, it was always my left arm. Could be a bright, sunny, cloudless day, but if it started throbbing in just that certain way, I knew: before too long, the dark clouds would be rolling in.

I don’t know if it’s possible for our souls to feel something similar, but I’ve talked to a number of people who have serious spiritual aches.

There’s just this feeling that something bad is coming. Nobody can put their finger on it. It could be spiritual, or temporal, or possibly even both. All I can say is that it’s as if we’re watching the world stage, and the house lights have gone down, and we can just barely make out that the scenery is being rearranged by people dressed all in black. We can’t see them with any clarity. There’s just the sense of deliberate and hasty movement, as pieces are being put into place for a big scene.

I’ve never been given to apocalyptic fantasies, but it’s hard not to wonder if when the curtain comes up, we will be witnessing the beginning of the final act.

In this essay, I hope to try to stitch together some of the disparate factors I see coalescing, and others I merely suspect. I have no special gift for divining the course of the future; I receive no private revelations. But I have a sense that something is very much not right in the world, and I am trying to address that for myself. I have chosen to also share my attempt to make these connections with you.

Continue reading...

24 Responses to End Times

  • Many “right to choose” believers often hurl the accusation that pro-life individuals want to impose their beliefs, their pro-life religion on them.
    .
    Well, it is true. Pro-life religion believers believe that God is the giver of life. “I place before you life and death, choose life then that thou may be holy, for I the Lord, your God am holy.” But for those who wish to remain unholy and free to choose death, let them remember that God is the God of life, their life and all life. God makes it rain and the sun shine. God is the God of every breath they take. When God takes their breath away, they will perish like the grass. A word to the wise is sufficient.
    .
    The devil is a murderer from the beginning. To embrace Satan’s lies is to ask for death, one’s own death. Will the ‘right to choose death” mob accept their own judgment.
    .
    Isn’t this what global warming is all about? At first I thought it was a gimmick to extort taxes and tribute from the people, but it is really the “right to choose death” individuals becoming unhinged realizing that they cannot breath CO2. And shaking their fist at God’s commandments, laws that God, Himself, keeps perfectly, they cannot make a single breath of life for themselves, nor can they make the rain, rain, and the sun shine, nor can they create a single instance of life for themselves. The shoe is on the other foot, now. The abortionists are dying off.

  • Social Justice!

    Consider the following posted at Zero Hedge on 3/26/2014: ZH: “What is the shelf life of a system that rewards confidence-gaming sociopaths rather than competence? Those in power exhibit hubris, arrogance, bullying, deception and substitute rule by elites for the rule of law. The status quo rewards misrepresentation, obfuscation, legalized looting, embezzlement, fraud, a variety of cons, gaming the system, deviousness, lying and cleverly designed deceptions.

    “Our leadership was selected not for competence but for deviousness. What’s incentivized in our system is spinning half-truths and propaganda with a straight face and running cons that entrench the pathology of power.”

  • Mr Skojec’s piece called to mind the reaction of a certain Doctor of Divinity I knew at Oxford, on being informed that one of his former students, a clergyman, was writing a commentary on Revelations. He sighed and shook his head, “Oh dear! So very sad! Such a promising young man – and with a young family, too.”

  • It is always good to remember that we have been in the End Times since the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the bountiful giving of the Spirit at Pentecost.

    Now whether we are entering a particular moment in these End Times which legitimately raises eyebrows, anxiety and fear, I cannot not definitely say but I would not presume to make light of it.

  • We have been in the End Times since the Annunciation. Bad things have happened before and will happen again. I try to trust in the Lord.

  • Penguins Fan: “I try to trust in the Lord.”
    .
    “In God We Trust”

  • You are right Donald! Very intriguing… and my defense shields seem to be agnosticism.
    I think of the story of Chicken Little — the sky didn’t fall, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t real danger to Chicken, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky etal. Foxy Loxy had his own nefarious plan. So while the gang worried about a cosmic threat (sky falling) the real personal and immediate danger was ready to pounce one at a time.

  • Botolph and Penguins Fan are right, the end times have been underway for nearly 2000 years. I personally have always taken the admonishment “No one knows the day or the hour” very seriously, and history shows that belief in the imminence of the Second Coming is a mistake, so far. However, any serious look at history will also show that really bad things are common and so no Christian can be complacent about their worldly future.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour, I like that Doctor of Divinity you knew. It reminds me of something I recently discovered: the liturgies of the Orthodox churches never make use of the Book of Revelation. It is apparently seen as too mysterious and apocalyptic (in the original ‘hidden’ meaning of the word) to be used in the liturgies.

    But then again, Wormwood DOES translate to Chernobyl in Russian…

  • I just skimmed through the Steve Skojec article. It looks like a mixed bag. Unfortunately I won’t have time for a full read until late tonight or tomorrow. I’d LOVE to read commentaries on it (hint hint).

  • Chernobyl is in Ukraine, a gift to the Ukrainian people from the Soviet Communist dictatorship.

  • Too close for comfort?

    Off of SpiritDaily today. Movie goers in LA we’re witnessing the “end of world scene,” in the first opening of the motion picture Noah. As the people in Noah started running for their lives, the 5.1 quake struck.
    The comments from the audience is mixed. Some were truly moved in their hearts…some couldn’t of cared less.

    Wake up call? 🙂

  • Pingback: Pontifical Laetare Sun. in Rome w/Bp. Matteo Zuppi - BigPulpit.com
  • Hmmm…. I’d just like to get a reaction to two statements. “It may be that the United States of America comes to an end, but the End is not yet.” “It may be that England comes to an end, but the End is not yet.”

    We tend to be just like 1st century Jews. They really could not conceive of the Temple being destroyed unless the whole world went with it, as is clear from how the Apostles asked their questions and from the answer they received. In spite of that, after the Temple was destroyed, life went on. Americans tend to have substantially more unfounded ideas that the only thing that can destroy America is the Antichrist — if, that is, even he can do that. Inspired by this confidence, we work steadily to destroy the USA ourselves, expecting that somehow the same laws of cause and effect that work everywhere else in the world will not apply here.

    I don’t think the chastisement that faces the world, and the West in particular, will be in any way miraculous. On the contrary, it will be entirely natural, and future historians will look back on our times and ask, “How could they not foresee that this would come of their actions?”

  • Howard,

    I will take a shot here in response to what you said. Your words are a bit apocalyptic but then again we are speaking about the End Times. As I stated above the End Times began with Christ’s Death [sun darkened, earth quaked] and resurrection [resurrection of the dead: Christ is the First Fruits] and the Sending of the Spirit at Pentecost[Joel’s prophecy of the abundant outpouring of the Spirit].

    I believe we are going through another cultural-civilization paradigm shift such as last took place at the Renaissance-Reformation-Tridentine Reforms. What ended back then was the Middle Ages; what began was what has been known as the Modern Age. Now we are witnessing the Modern Age coming to an end and a new one appearing “the Post-Modern Age” [I am sure they will eventually think up a better name]. While it is true that the West still has certain remnants of Western Civilization within it, the radical cultural revolution known as the Enlightenment has swept much of the tradition away (and still is doing so). The issue is this. Much of what we now have come to see as western culture and socio-political and economic life is based on the Enlightenment-including much of the United States’ own self-understanding. If the Enlightenment is ending with the end of the Modern Age……………? See what I mean? You are right, I do not understand why people cannot see what is plainly happening before their eyes. Unless America sinks our foundations deeper into Western Civilization including Natural Law what indeed will be our future?

  • @Botolph — We are on the same page. I would actually characterize my comment as anti-apocalyptic, at least as the term is usually understood. Just as none of us, I hope, thinks he is so important that his death could only come at the climax of some great, world-changing confrontation of Good and Evil, we should not mistake our familiar political and cultural institutions from being that important, either. The USA could decline slowly over centuries before breaking up, like the Ottoman Empire, or over decades, like the British Empire, or over months, like the Soviet Union, or it could come in all the violence and drama of the American Civil War, the English Civil War, or the French Revolution. The point is, though, that all these empires declined and all these wars came, but as the Gospel says, “The End is not yet.” So it will likely be with us.

  • As long as people pray, God gives more time.

  • Per Omnia Saecula Saeculorum

    In the Latin text it is
    Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
    Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.
    We translate it “for ever and ever” or for ages and ages but in KJV or Anglican they say “world without end”
    As I said in my reference to Henny Penny above, we can study and look for the cosmic end or we can deal with our personal one.

  • Gloria Patri ….. et in saecula saeculorum.

    We translate it “for ever and ever” or for ages and ages but in KJV or Anglican they say “world without end”
    As I said in my reference to Henny Penny above, we can study and look for the cosmic end or we can deal with our personal one.

  • I have never understood why one should fear the end of the world more than a falling slate, or the tortoise that, according to Valerius Maximus, an eagle dropped on the bald head of Aeschylus, mistaking it for a rock.

    There is a fragment of a Greek tragedy, of unknown authorship and of which nothing else survives (Tragicorum Fragmenta Adespota, 513 Nauck):

    ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί•
    οὐδὲν μέλει μοι• τἀμὰ γὰρ καλῶς ἔχει.

    When I die, let earth and fire mix:
    It matters not to me, for my affairs will be unaffected.

    Perhaps, Lucretius was alluding to this verse:

    scilicet haud nobis quicquam, qui non erimus tum,
    accidere omnino poterit sensumque movere,
    non si terra mari miscebitur et mare caelo. (De Rerum Naturae 3.840-842)

    Certainly then, when we do not exist, nothing
    at all will be able to happen to us nor excite our senses,
    not even if the earth mixes with the sea, and the sea with the heavens.

  • “Certainly then, when we do not exist, nothing at all will be able to happen to us nor excite our senses, not even if the earth mixes with the sea, and the sea with the heavens.”

    Wrong. We do exist after death, in eternal life. The author of the poem does not believe in the immortal soul, and so, he undoes all of creation. Well, what about the rest of us? Thank God for Divine Providence.

  • As Miss Anscombe says, “If the principle of human rational life in E.A. is a soul (which perhaps can survive E.A., perhaps again animate E.A.) that is not the reference of “I.” Nor is it what I am. I am E.A. and shall exist only as long as E.A. exists.” St Thomas teaches the same (Summa Ia q 75:4) The soul is not the person, unless one is a Cartesian.

  • We are in the last decades of man’s existence on earth as we know it. First (because of the shenanigans and promiscuity of the last 50years) the city of Rome will go down like Jerusalem did in 70 AD; then shortly after the Lord Jesus will appear on the clouds of Heaven in Glory. All these within a generation and half a generation.
    Some people alive now, will be living witnesses to these events as they unfold.
    Read more: http://www.prophetamos3m.com

  • I see now where obstinate schism takes people.

MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS

Sunday, August 15, AD 2010

1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him.[1]

2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives.

Continue reading...

One Response to MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS

Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

The Vatican  released a working paper during Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Cyprus to prepare the way for a crisis summit of Middle East bishops in Rome. What I take away from this- along with the Holy See’s call for lifting the blockade of Gaza- is something of a vindication for my more raw views urging for a sea change in American Catholic opinion and action regarding the overall situation in the Middle East, and in Israel-Palestine in particular.

Continue reading...

14 Responses to Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

  • We really need to get even-handed if we even want to have credibility in the larger Arab world- something the polls indicate we are sorely lacking- to be it mildly.-Tim Shipe

    “Even-handed” in relation to the Arab world of progrom-states and their target is… what, exactly?

    Hamas and extremist Jewish settler movements…

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

  • Bravo. There won’t be peace in the Middle East until Americans, including Catholics, stop spoiling Israel and start treating it like we treat every other nation.

    I think this is the one area of Obama’s presidency where I think Obama has been more positive than negative-though he still does too little.

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

    The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military. If they need force, they don’t strap on a bomb; they have the planes drop a bomb instead. It is unquestionable that settlers, at the behest of the government, have continued to expand and continued to take Palestinian land. This is clearly not a motive of peace but one of a desire to usurp and it ought to be opposed.

  • “The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military.”

    The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians. In regard to umbrage at the Settlers, I am a bit puzzled. I have heard some people here at AC condemn Arizona’s law against Mexican illegal aliens as Nazi-like. Perhaps any moral difficulty with the Israeli Settlers could be cured if we simply consider them to be illegal aliens on the West Bank?

    Of course I believe the preferred term would be undocumented immigrants. Someone else on the net has already taken the Israeli Settlers as undocumented immigrants concept and ran with it:

    http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=12393

  • Tim, the political leadership in the West Bank, Gaza, and the camps want no settlement that is not constructed on the ruins of the Jewish state. Deal with it, please.

  • The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians.

    Don:

    Here is an opposing view which objects to the stats you and your favorite paper, the NYT, toss about.

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/nyt-report.html

    Statistics are like “you know whats”. Everybody has one.

  • Art Deco – I agree with your post whole-heartedly.

    The Pope is wrong here. Israel can give up its blockade after he sends the Swiss Guard home. Before this flotilla stunt, did anyone know that Gaza was being blockaded? A response like this from the Holy See indicates that the stunt has worked.

    The Jews have built a beautiful, thriving country in the desert within the span a 50 years. A feat the Arabs have not managed to do in their own countries for centuries. This whole thing is about envy.

    Arab Christians are being routed by whom exactly? This is not a difficult question to answer.

  • Fuji, your calling the New York Times my favorite newspaper is almost as humorous as your citing If Americans Knew, an organization which is bitterly hostile to Israel. Paul Findley is on its board. Findley was the pro-abort and pro-PlO Republican Congressman from Springfield in my state of Illinois. Thanks to my efforts, along with the efforts of many others, he became an ex-Congressman in 1982.

    I would as soon accept a press release from Hamas as a credible source, as I would anything put out by If Americans Knew.

  • The ADL has some interesting information linked below on Alison Weir who runs If Americans Knew.

    http://www.adl.org/Israel/anti_israel/alison_weir/anti-Semitism.asp?m_flipmode=3

  • Fuji,

    You’ve completely misunderstood the purpose of the If Americans Knew “study” — it doesn’t deal at all with whether the statistics which the NY Times publishes about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are accurate, it deals with how often deaths on each side are mentioned in the headline or the first paragraph of an article. Its claim is not that the NY Times presents false information, but that it talks more about the deaths of some people than those of others.

    An example of this would be, if one news story said, “A Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up in a shopping center, killing three Israeli adults and two children.” and then the next day another story began, “The Israeli defense minister promised to take ‘strong action’ in retaliation for the attack Monday which killed five Israelis, including two children, at a crowded shopping center,” this ‘study’ would consider that to be reporting 200% of the number of Israeli dead, since they were mentioned in two separate stories.

    Nor is the statistic that Palestinians kill more Settlers than Settlers kill Palestinians inconsistent with the fact that overall far more Palestinians have died in the conflict than Israelis, since obviously not all Israelis are settlers and not all Palestinians killed (indeed, very few) are killed by settlers.

  • You can take your rose-colored spectacles off when viewing Israel and still conclude that Hamas and other Islamofascist groups are evil. Not blindly supporting Israel is not a tacit approval of all things Arab and/or Muslim.

    In regards to this so-called peace flotilla – it is obvious that it was a false flag operation designed to denigrate Israel and it is working. In regards to Israel – they are a far better friend than Arab/Muslim states – but they are not a very good friend.

    Israel has a right to exist and to defend herself and I would argue to occupy territories the UN and the British gave to Egypt and Jordan for her defense. Who constantly gets screwed as Muslims and Arabs use the Palestinian Arabs as a tool to beat the West with? Not Israel – the Palestinian Arabs do. The people, especially the children and most especially the Christians suffer at the hands of so-called Palestinian leadership, a secular Jewish state that engages in horrible behavior and the UN and other Arab states.

    Now that we have allowed the Isalmofascists to indoctrinate generations it is practically impossible to work for peace and no one wants it anyway – no one save for possibly the Pope and the poor Christians who live in the Holy Land.

    Can peace be brokered – we can hope – but it is doubtful until the King returns. Muslims specifically never enter a permanent peace with anyone in Dar Al Harb (the House of War). They certainly won’t enter a permanent peace with Jews – Mohammad practically built his religiology on capture of booty, imperialism and slaughter of Jews. Not to mention copious copies of the Torah and Nestorian heresies.

    Strategically speaking, the USA would be fools to turn our backs on Israel – but having blind support for her is just as foolish. I don’t necessarily fault Israelis for their bad behavior, historically speaking – they were coming from a very frightening place and fear makes you do stupid things – they are nevertheless, still responsible but that does not absolve the British for solving their Jewish-problem with better PR than the Nazis. Instead of killing the Jews, the British shipped them out of England to their own homeland – neglecting to tell them they promised the same land to the Arabs that had lived there since the 7th century.

    What did they think was going to happen? Had a different and more balanced solution been developed between 1917 and 1947 – the current mess could have been avoided. I doubt that is what those who want a weak and unstable mid-East wanted. Lebanon and Palestine had the best chance for Christianizing the rest of the Arab and Muslim lands – however, just like the Crusader Kingdoms – the West dropped the ball on supporting them and the price is war and the shrinking of the Christian population and the ascendancy of Islam. Make no mistake – Islam is an imperial totalitarian ideology and will align with the subversive Left in the West to gain entry and then turn on their tolerant, peace-loving, pot-smoking friends.

    If anyone can broker an honest peace in the Middle-East it would be the Pope, but he may need American guns.

  • How would the gallant Turkish (NATO member) army/navy respond to the following? A bunch of Armenian-Americans (two Israeli humanitarian groups already are planning such) get up a couple tons of humanitarian aid and stage a huge guerrilla theater propaganda extravaganza of bringing it to the six Armenians not yet murdered in Turkey. Or better analogy, do it for the Kurds fighting for their independence.

    Hamas, Hizbollah, etc. will end the terror war against Israeli civilians, women and children (and the Arab women and children they use as human shields) when the last Israeli is either murdered or driven into the sea.

    The Pope ought to denounce the Holy See bureaucRAT that came up with this hateful paper.

  • I don’t think you can figure out the justice of a conflict simply by counting up bodies. However, it is a fact that far more Palestinians than Israelis have died in the conflict.

  • I’ll take the Vatican seriously on matters concerning the Middle East, if they would express themselves in the same forthright manner on other wars and conflicts that plague the globe, in particular those that concern Catholics and Christians. The Catholic Church’s hollowness in these matters could be seen most clearly at work in early 2009. In December of 2008 the Israelis invaded Gaza to put an end to the constant rocket barrage, and my how the Catholic press and heirarchy waxed eloquent, counterpoising each other with elavated talk about ‘just war’, ‘human rights’ and the rest of it, not stinting to blame the Israelis by name for all manner of wrongs real and imagined. The bishop here in Singapore (where I live) got on the bandwagon and launched an appeal for Gaza.

    Three months later, in March the Sri Lankans launched their final push into Jaffna, when the dust settled more than 20,000 civilians were dead. Given the proportion of Catholics in Jaffna, it is reasonable to surmise that the number of Catholic dead alone exceeded the total death toll in Gaza. Yet where was the Vatican in all this? Why was no appeal launched for them? Does the criteria of ‘just war’ not apply to the darker nations? Apart from generalised handwringing, nothing much was heard from our Vatican friends. No one tagged the Sri Lankan army with brutality. Their reticence doubtless owed much to the restraining hand of Msgr Malcolm Ranjith, himself a Ceylonese and thus in a position to know that the government would take out any displeasure on the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.

    This in essence is the well established pattern of Vatican hypocrisy; when it comes to Israel, break out the tomes on jus ad bellum and set them terms that no nation in history has been able to follow, and thereby not incidentally burnish the Vatican’s own street cred with the Muslims at the expense of Jews. On the other hand, when it comes to countless attacks against Christians, from Nigeria to Pakistan to Indonesia, put out a pro forma declaration hoping that the problem goes away.

  • An aside. But perhaps an example of how diplomacy doesn’t work, or at least works poorly:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/08/AR2010060805406.html