Are We Living in Apocalyptic Times? (part 1)

The question is a volatile one and leaves plenty of room for a vast amount of commentary and interpretation. Indeed, our times seem to be rife with wildly differing interpretations of the meaning of the book of Revelation. In addressing our topic tonight, I hope to make a contribution to what should always be a sober discussion, yet is so often otherwise. Even so, I suppose that everything I am about to say on the matter this evening could be summed up in a single word: Yes.

Yes, we are living in apocalyptic times. But this needs qualification. The Church, the sacred scriptures, the saints, the approved mystical apparitions, all speak about the end times within the context I would like to lay before you.

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Are We Living in Apocalyptic Times? (part 2): Question Period

See the young people scattered throughout this crowd tonight. They are genuine heroes and heroines. They are the Church, they are the future,and we must feed them good food. They are the Body of Christ coming alive again in this dead zone, and if we neglect to nurture them we will be accountable for it on Judgment Day. We choose now. Not to choose is a choice. The kind of Church we will soon have in this country depends very much on how we choose. Unless we begin to see the nature of the problem accurately,and truly repent of our part in it, the Church is finished here. Unless there is an extraordinary change of heart, it is over. Throughout its long history the Church has died out in many regions of the world. Think of North Africa, which was once the glory of Christendom, think of other particular churches—they are gone! Why do we suppose that Our Lord has a huge investment in preserving a culture such as ours, in making this deathly civilization last a bit longer? He may do so, if there are “ten just men” still among us. And he may do so, if there is a widespread return to his holy will. Or he may not. It is not our task to weigh this matter, which is comprehensible only to God alone. Our task is to be faithful.

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Benedict at Regensburg: Islam, War, Death, Apostasy…

The world grows more complex and inflamed, violence erupts everywhere, evil seems to be spreading. I think of the massacre of students a few weeks ago in Montreal by a youth who left a message declaring his hatred of Christians, and the massacre of Amish children in Pennsylvania a few days ago by a man who proclaimed he was doing it because he hated God. I think of the wars in the Middle East, and the rage of Islamic extremists over an academic paper delivered by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg, and the murder of a Catholic nun and burning of churches in reprisal for his talk. The list goes on and on and where it stops only Christians know — because the only place it stops is on a Cross on Calvary. Looking closely at what is happening in the world, or for that matter only superficially, we see murder in the human heart, violence as old as the story of Cain and Abel.

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The U.S. election 2008

If Americans choose to push the culture of death to a new level, it will be a grave sign that worse is to follow. Polls are saying that 55% of American Catholics support Obama. If even “the elect” cannot recognize the deception, how will they discern rightly when a far worse “Man of Sin” appears!

 

We do not know for certain if Obama is just one of many “anti-Christ” figures emerging in the world, or if he will gradually mutate into the actual long-prophesied Antichrist, the “Man of Sin.” As I said before, he seems too shallow a person for such a role, his face and manner radiating an apparently wholesome good will. He seems nice. But his policies are not so nice. Jesus cautions us that we will know a tree by its fruits, by the intentions and actions of a man. Moreover, we must not underestimate the corrupting effects of power—especially power of the magnitude that may soon be given to Obama. It should also be recalled that just as nature abhors a vacuum, so too the “dark side” lusts for an emptiness to invade.

 

“I call on heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live….” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

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Cardinal Ratzinger-Fatherhood and Apocalypse

INSIDIOUS THREAT TO SENSE OF FATHERHOOD—Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Warns against Dangers of Biotechnology

 “In our days, we should not forget that they [Nazi extermination camps] prefigured the destiny of a world that runs the risk of adopting the same structure of the concentration camps, if the universal law of the machine is accepted. The machines that have been constructed impose the same law. According to this logic, man must be interpreted by a computer and this is only possible if translated into numbers. The Beast [of Revelation] is a number and transforms into numbers. God, however, has a name and calls by name. He is a person and looks for the person.”

 

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Is the End at Hand?

An interview with Ignatius Insight online magazine:
What about this whole End Times scenario? What does the Catholic Church believe? IgnatiusInsight interviewed author Michael O’Brien whose fictional work Father Elijah is built around the character of a priest who is a convert from Judaism. Father Elijah is sent by the pope and the cardinal secretary of state to penetrate the inner circles of the man they believe is the Antichrist and call him to repentance. The plot for O’Brien’s book came to him in one inspiring moment while he was praying in a parish church for the state of the world and the Church. O’Brien, who is first and foremost the married father of six children and a Christian painter, went on to write an entire series, published by Ignatius Press. He is known as a strong voice for the Church’s moral values in Canada and in the West. Most recently, O’Brien gave a talk about the Apocalypse and Christianity at St. Patrick’s basilica in Ottawa, Canada.

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Chesterton and Paganism

An article published in the August-November, 1990, issue of The Chesterton Review

The sheer weight of Chesterton’s intellectual genius has tended to obscure a basic fact about his nature: he was fundamentally an artist. There has always been, of course, an abundance of evidence that he was a lover of visual imagery, ranging from boyhood doodles through a lifetime of humorous cartoons depicting the foibles of his contemporaries, to the cardboard characters which he created in later years for his toy theatre. There is also the fact that, when his friends went on to Oxford and Cambridge, he chose to attend an art school at St. John’s Wood and later the Slade School of Art. The real evidence, however, lies in the vivid metaphors and ingenious parallels produced during his career as a writer. They were drawn from a seemingly inexhaustible store of observed detail. He was a man who looked, and looked deeply, one who gradually came to understand the mysterious epiphany of meaning continuously uttered in creation. If he is more widely known as a philosopher at large, it is because the bulk of his creative output lies on the side of the printed word.

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