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Are These the "Outer Bands" of a Coming Judgment?

November 11, 2014 128 Comments

111114Are we in the “Last Days”? Generally it would seem not, though there are sobering indicators that the outer bands of a coming storm are overhead.

The sum total teaching of eschatology would seem to indicate that a number of things must first happen before the end: a comprehensive completion of the going out of the Gospel to all the nations, widespread acceptance by Israel that Christ is in fact the Messiah, the emergence of an antichrist figure who will deceive the nations, a final, intensive and unprecedented unleashing of evil, etc. (For more on this and for biblical references, see what I have written here: Some basics of eschatology.) And while some claim that many of these have already been accomplished, we do well to heed the caution of St. Paul, who says,

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thess 2:1-4).

So, using the Spirit’s caution through St. Paul, we do well not to conclude too quickly that the end is close at hand, though Christ can surely come anyway “on a sudden.”

However, the same text from St. Paul does describe certain things that precede the end—things that are more clearly in place today.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work … in those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess 2:10-12).

Now we are clearly living in an age when strong delusion has come upon many. Indeed many seem deeply and profoundly confused as to the basic concepts of human sexuality, the existence of God, and the dignity of human life. Strong delusion is required for the human person to justify the killing of innocent children in the womb. Strong delusion is required for a human person to think that homosexual acts are natural, when any look at the design of the body profoundly indicates otherwise.  Strong delusion is required for a human person to think that suicide is to be praised and is even “courageous.” Strong delusion is required for a person to look at a world that is so clearly designed and governed, and ascribe it all to mindless, blind, totally random mutation.

Indeed a strong delusion is upon many today. Elsewhere, St. Paul also says of those deluded in this way (especially in matters of homosexuality),

But they became vain in their thinking and their foolish minds were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error (Rom 1:21,26-27).

So it is clear today that the initial requirements for the coming of the lawless one are increasingly in place. A strong delusion has come upon many that will usher in a rebellion and cause the lawless one to be widely accepted. For again, as St. Paul said above,  for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first.

And the text speaks of the cause for this delusion. On a human level, the delusion and rebellion result from that fact that, as St. Paul says, they refused to love the truth and so be saved … [they] did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

So, yielding to their passions (pleasures), and preferring unrighteousness, they refused to love the truth. And do not be mistaken that this refusal is rooted merely in ignorance. No, God has written His truth in the heart of every human person; His voice echoes in the conscience of every human person. God has also written His truth in the book of creation. Therefore, St. Paul says elsewhere,

What may be known about God is plain to all, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that such people are without excuse (Rom 1:19-20).

Thus we are not typically dealing with ignorance. Rather, we are dealing with resistance and rejection. The delusion and rebellion of our times is the result of a preference for sinful pleasures and an active resistance to the truth written on the human heart and in creation. Many, many prefer the darkness of delusion to the light of truth.

Where are we now in an eschatological sense?  It is arguable that we are in the midst of the rebellion and that in fact a strong delusion has come upon many, many people. It is this delusion and rebellion that foreshadows what will happen next: and the man of lawlessness will be revealed.

This does not mean that the lawless one or the antichrist will come next year. Some may argue that times of darkness have come and gone before. However, both the rapidity of the rebellion and the steep decline into deepening darkness present a strong argument for the fact that we, through human sinfulness, are laying the groundwork for the coming of the lawless one, whose unreasonable demands will only make “sense” to a people who have abandoned reason and the clarity of the true faith.

And what of the part of the text that says, “God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false”? Texts like this point to God’s permitting of such things due to his respect for our freedom. God is the primary cause of everything, in that He holds all things in existence and “facilitates” all that happens. The Bible and the ancient world were more comfortable in speaking to this reality of God’s primary causality. A text like this does not mean that God wishes or delights in delusion or rebellion. It means only that He does not withdraw existence from those who do what He detests, and as such He indirectly facilitates it. He does this for the sake of a greater good: our freedom, which is necessary for our love and faith.

So here we are in the midst of a time of rebellion and deep delusion, one that may be serious enough to usher in the final stages. Stay sober, my friends. I do not usually predict the end, but when I do, I look to texts like these, which show the outer bands of a coming storm.

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  1. annaincalifornia says:

    Maranatha!

    “When these things begin to take place,
    stand up and lift up your heads,
    because your redemption is drawing near.”
    (Luke 21:28)

    May we all be awake and ready to meet Him.

  2. paula says:

    Yes , and many think think that the “mark of the beast” will be an electronic chip, but, if even the elect will be susceptible to deception, then I think it will be something more subtle. It even seems like many have already taken on the “mark”- by virtue of their beliefs and values. St.John Vianney & Our Lady of LaSalette, pray for us.

    • Mar says:

      I believe the mark is the opening of the 3rd eye, something all new age techniques “sell” as cool, as enlightenment and spiritual advancement.

      • chris awo says:

        The Mark of the Beast is the sin of Sodomy (homosexuality). Because this concerns man created on the 6th day. And concerns the 6th commandment, etc.
        see details in: http://www.prophetamos3m.com/6.html

        • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

          Here is the Relatio English Translation:

          “…facing the situation, with an eye on the Lord Jesus, to discern how the Church and society can renew their commitment to the family.”

          GUESS WHAT FOLKS? LOOK AT WHAT HAS BEEN EDITED OUT:

          The official Italian original says, “…facing, in the light of the Lord Jesus, [how] to discern the ways in which to renew the Church and society in their commitment to the family BASED ON MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN.”

          The SMOKE OF SATAN has entered the sanctuary!

    • Scott Pauline says:

      Hi, Paula, I tend to see idealistic allegory in the Mark as ANY form of religious persecution:

      The forehead covers the mind, which is the intellect of soul.

      It is with our HANDS that we do the WORKS of our hands, our will, good or evil.

      To give in and deny what our INTELLECT knows, to save our physical body, is to take the mark in our FOREHEAD, which is failing to bear witness to the truth.

      To give in and do something evil to save our buns is taking the mark in our hand, which is failing to remain true morally to God because of pressure.

      For example, to say to King Henry that he is the head of his own Church and deny Peter, is to take a mark in the forehead, rather than be executed.

      To deny the existence of God and disown oneself from the church when a communist threatens you with torture or exile, is to take the mark in the forehead.

      To assist in performing an abortion rather than lose your job, or marry a gay couple or make them a cake, is the mark in the hand.

      Repentance, of course, removes the mark, as apocalypse is using hyperbole by suggesting the mark is a one street to hell. One can always receive the anointing of the sick. There is no true unforgivable sin before death.

  3. Tom says:

    Amen. Pray, Pray, Pray. Do penance, make sacrifices. Thank you for your work, Msgr. Polk.

  4. Mary says:

    There certainly is much immorality snd rejection of following God’s ways. Swirling around is also confusion. We are already in a battle for survival. May we be prepared for the coming of Christ whenever He comes!

  5. John says:

    St. Augustine spoke about the avowed enemies of God outside of the Church, as well as the enemies within who accept the mark by living according to their desires, and worldly values.

  6. Louise says:

    I believe the most important people we need to pray for are our priests (many have given themselves over to the world, to compromise etc), for they are our leaders and can lead many to holiness or to perdition. They will be held more responsible than us the laity. Let us all put them at the TOP of our prayer lists. We need more priest like you Msgr. Pope…………Thank you sooooo much !!!!

    • Gerhard says:

      You hit the nail on the head. And we must pray for all those who teach and uphold the Catholic faith that comes to us from the Apostles, particularly in seminaries. The fruits of many seminaries are clear. The ignorance, incompetence and downright bad faith of so many Priests is staggering, and these will be most in need of His mercy. But staggering too is the holiness, perseverance, courage and dynamism of countless others, which makes them “unpopular’ and open to all sorts of attack as well as temptations.

  7. Fr. Nelson Medina says:

    While I like the systematic and serene perspective offered in this post, I would argue that a very important point has been completely overlooked. The mounting pressure has not necessarily to lead to the final outcome. Several, if not many, times in human history there has been a tremendous pressure that produced the impression of doomsday nearness–only to be released and somehow relaxed subsequently. Also, it is important to underline the role of the saints in this changes of direction.

    • I think I said this in the article: This does not mean that the lawless one or the antichrist will come next year. Some may argue that times of darkness have come and gone before.

      Further you will note that the title of the article is in the form of a question. Hence I don’t think your critique that your point was “completely overlooked” is just.

      • Fr. Nelson Medina says:

        You are right. The adverb “completely” does not make justice to your post.

        Even so, I still think your article may gain a lot by presenting some of those coming and receding of dark times, especially if a connection to the lives of the saints is explicitly made.

        Thank you for all the time you invest in praying, reflecting, writing and replying.

        • Michael Petek says:

          I don’t think we have grounds for thinking that we’re close to the Last Judgement. But the effect of the strong delusion on our societies is that our civilization will collapse into shameless barbarism within historical time, sooner or later, but inevitably.

        • De La Rue says:

          If I may add a point that struck me when reading this particular part of your excellent appraisal of the current situation, it is that in recent times France, via its revolution, attempted to de-Christianize its people, but the world was not persuaded. In the 20th century Russia de-Christianized its people, but again the world was not persuaded to follow . During Hitler’s time as chancellor, Germany made an attempt to destroy the Jewish people and remove the foundation of Christianity, but the world was not persuaded to follow.
          The situation has now changed. The world is slowly dissembling Christian influence in the world and replacing it with Human Rights and Political Correctness, with legal measures taken against protesters. And this time, the world is persuaded to follow. The entire western half of civilization is in the process of reinforcing the slow exclusion of Christian influence. The few Christian counties maintining Christian values, particularly with regard to homosexuality are in Africa, and they are threatened with loss of grants, unless they change. In short, times have changed, and there is no longer a strong will among world leaders to protect Christian values-rather the opposite.

          • Jack says:

            This has a name:
            A-POS-TA-SY
            Apostasy has infiltrated in all the countries and even the true Church of God is contaminated.
            Cardinal Ciappi who had read the Third Secret of Fatima clearly warned us:
            “In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”

  8. LMC says:

    Having come from a protestant background that has an unhealthy fascination with “The End” (Left Behind anyone?), one thing that I heard many years ago that was quite thought-provoking came from a very learned evangelist, Perry Stone. He pointed out the number of the beast being recorded in the Bible as 666…. that numbers and letters in Hebrew are interchangeable, the first letter stands for 1, the second for 2 and so on… and the 6th number in Hebrew is w…. 666 = www.

    DISCLAIMER! I am not saying the internet is absolutely, positively the mark of the beast! Only that it is quite an interesting “coincidence”, and this kind of access to information is unprecedented in human history. Most certainly the advent of the internet created a very capable vehicle for deception, lies, indoctrination, monetary control, etc…. everything the Beast “needs” to aid Antichrist when he comes… whenever that may be.

    I am enjoying learning about end times theology from a Catholic point of view — one that keeps it’s head on it’s shoulders and doesn’t get whipped up into a frenzy over the latest headlines. Thank you for your insights, I appreciate them very much.

    • Rich says:

      Rev 13:18…a cryptogram for Nero Cesar. Protestants are obsessed with “end times”, driver-less vehicles, rapture, left behind, late great planet earth, ad infinitum. Never heard the “www” spin before.

      • LMC says:

        I think we can all agree, Catholic and protestant alike, that we are living in an age unprecedented in human history. The technology is now available for the entire world to be controlled by a small group of powerful people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like make it possible for pictures and videos to “go viral” around the world in minutes… MINUTES! While I never fully agreed with the whole “rapture” scenario when I was a protestant, I now do outright reject it along with many other “speculations” about Revelation and Daniel… However, something to remember is that these were “ancient” people quite possibly being shown visions of a technological future that they tried to describe in ways that made sense within the context of their own era when describing the judgments that they saw coming upon the earth. When those judgments will take or have taken place is kind of like standing on a mountain top and seeing all the tops of the mountains, but not how far the valleys stretch in between. Some we can already look back and point to, others not so much.

        There has always been a spirit of antichrist on the earth, hence the waxing and waning of evil — others in times of great darkness have also believed they were living in the “end times”. No one but the Father knows the day and time of “The End”, but we are supposed to be vigilant, always looking forward to the second coming of Christ. So, maybe we are just in one of the “waxing” stages of evil that will be overcome for a time (God’s time, not earth time). Still, the last 100 years of technology (heck, even the last 20 years of technology) coupled with the strong delusion that Msgr. Pope mentioned have brought about on earth a cultural and technological structure that is now actually compatible with one man having the ability to “rule” the entire world — exactly when that may happen is not our place to speculate, but we can be on our guard. I’m sure it was exciting to live in the time of Christ, to be a disciple, to see him rise from the dead and actually experience the fulfillment of the scriptures. And I believe, like Msgr., while this may not be “The End” right now, I most definitely agree that the “outer bands” of some storm or other are present like never before, and the thought that Christ could come in my lifetime is exciting and motivating for me to live as if the bridegroom could come at any moment. “”Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” Matt 24:42

  9. Sue Korlan says:

    2 Timothy 3 gives more of the picture. It seems like a good description of our times.

  10. Terry Carlino says:

    We have been in the Last Days since Calvary. Once death was overcome the battle has been over. Now it’s just about body count. Who will accept salvation and who will reject it.

  11. Steve B says:

    Well we are human and we are in “End TImes” so the Last days are coming for us.

    God Bless you Msgr. Pope.

  12. Anne says:

    12%. That is the scandalous number of baptized Catholics that regularly attend Sunday Mass in the Archdiocese of New York.
    Recently nearly 1/3 of the Archdiocese parishes closed or were merged.
    Yet no one here sees overly alarmed.
    I can not understand why this does not evoke a panic. If 88% of the people were contracting a deadly virus that led to physical death surely drastic measures would be put in place.
    But what about spiritual death? Where is the plan to fight against the spiritual sickness of 88% of Catholics here?

  13. Doug says:

    Are these relevant? 2 Tim 3:1-5 (“… St. Paul does describe certain things that precede the end—things that are more clearly in place today.”)

    Mt 24:38,39. (“Thus we are not typically dealing with ignorance. Rather, we are dealing with resistance and rejection”)

  14. Ed Peters says:

    Excellent essay. This, from someone who routinely skips essays on this topic, because they are so goofy. You write very soberly and reasonably. Thank you!

  15. dave says:

    I know that some people are eagerly anticipating the second coming; allow me to respectfully submit that it will not be a time of happiness, but a time full of awe and holy fear.

    When the King of the universe comes again it will be terrible as an army with banners. Who shall stand when He appeareth?

    Please pray for me Msgr. as I pray for you daily. Thanks.

  16. Fr William J Kuchinsky says:

    Thank you for caring enough to present this teaching!

  17. Greg says:

    Excellent reflection. Too often we look at the worldly details for a sign rather than looking to spiritual conditions that are more accurate indicators of approaching storms. I would second your hypothesis that we should be awake and moving in the correct direction as the wind blows so that we might augment the impending new heaven and new earth that overtakes the old. Too often we worry about the destruction of that which matters little and we ignore the new birth that matters most.

  18. Jim J. McCrea says:

    But somehow, there will be an effective push-back against this descent into darkness we are now experiencing, and by an extraordinary act of God, all will be made right again in the Church and the world.

    But this will not last indefinitely, as there will again be a slide into darkness as people in large numbers choose evil, and the resulting evil will be worse than ever with the rise of Antichrist.

    Antichrist, after 1260 days of rule, will be destroyed by the Archangel Michael, and shortly after that there will be the End of the World and the General Judgment.

    This is the sequence of events given by most traditional Catholic prophesy.

  19. Victor Gelfo says:

    Quoting the harbringer of disaster and darkness the so called Paul the apostle.

    For truth,just read ‘The Antichrist’ by Nietzsche.

    To save the world we all have to be antichrists, not anti jesus. Anti all the falsehood of Paul!

  20. Alison says:

    I think there is one additional important factor here–we have not yet entered the period of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as told to us by Our Lady of Fatima (cannot be downplayed as merely some unimportant private revelation). Given everything, too long to go into here, I believe we are facing not the Last Judgment, but certainly the end of our era/civilization. It will be a horrifying chastisement and likely look and feel like the end; but when the dust clears will lead into what will be called a “Golden Age,” when there will be one fold and one shepherd. After this indeterminate period of time, there will be massive apostasy and the coming of the Antichrist.

    I have no visions and am not making predictions; just pointing out that a meta-analysis of approved prophecies strongly indicates that the “outer bands of the storm” are here, as Msgr. Pope has written above, but that the storm is not the final one. Whenever events do speed up, prophecies that seemed fuzzy will become clearer, and give us a reason not to panic as we will understand that it all has been foretold and must come to pass. (At least, this is the motivation for my interest in the subject, since I hate to be surprised and fear being caught up in mob hysteria.)

    • Marie says:

      Father, this is an interesting post and it raises a question for me that I’ve never heard well-explained. How do we reconcile the apparent contradiction between the idea that the Second Coming will be heralded by clear and obvious warning signs leading up to it and the idea that the Second Coming will be a complete surprise without any warning “like a thief in the night,” the day and hour so carefully concealed that no one knows the time not even the Son?

      The latter passages always make me think “Could be any time now! I could wake up any day or night to a sudden trumpet blast like those awful fire drills in the college dorm (that always did surprise you and people had to hop out of bed or out of the shower or leave their cookies or cupcake batter sitting on the counter half mixed while they rushed outside, fingers in hears, to be counted … (except not awful because – hopefully – heaven awaits!)). Anytime! Be ready!”

      Whereas the former passages lead passages tend to lead me to think, “Well, there seem to be missing some of the clear and obvious signs described (ie there’s not an antichrist ruthlessly ruling over us much less being worshipped in a sacred temple) so while it’s not clear when it will be it’s pretty clear when it won’t be: Christ’s coming won’t be for a while yet, carry on.”

      I know apparent contradictions in Scripture are only apparent and not real, so I know I’m missing some piece of the puzzle here. Just have no idea what it is!

      You are very good about reconciling other apparent contradictions in Scripture and I’m wondering if you could maybe do a followup post to this one explaining how these two ideas are meant to be understood.

      • Marie says:

        How odd that my post should end up here as a reply to Alison. I thought I was posting in the main comment thread. Technology!

    • Fr William J Kuchinsky says:

      Alison, Don’ know if you’ve seen this, but Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary re: how to weigh private revelation and interpret signs/symbols found in them might be of interest to you. Peace! Pray for us Priests!

  21. JohnR says:

    In my opinion more and more people are coming to the conclusion that we are indeed nearing the end. I find myself being driven to this conclusion and I fear for all of us. May God have mercy on us all.

    • C Beltz says:

      JohnR, why do you fear for us all? Do you not trust in the providence of God?

      Your fear is a bit Judas-like – you see man before God.

      Fear not! The Mercy of the Lord is not just an idea, it is a fact. All who can be saved, will be. Anyone not saved in the final judgement, will be so due to their own choices. You are not responsible for them and your fear will not save them. It will, however, hold you back from your true purpose if you allow it. Don’t count the Lord out, trust in Him.

  22. Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

    Msgr., you are a true prophet!

  23. Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

    “…both the rapidity of the rebellion and the steep decline into deepening darkness present a strong argument for the fact that we, through human sinfulness, are laying the groundwork for the coming of the lawless one…”

    You got it Msgr! We have been “laying the groundwork” through contraception and abortion (human sacrifice):

    For the disordered sexual mentality ignited by the work of Margaret Sanger is truly a Novena (9 days of prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit) NOT for the Holy Spirit but for the coming of the Antichrist. For the DATE of her death reveals her prayers to her true master:

    9/6/66

    “…and in the end of a man is the disclosing of his works.” – Sirach 11:29

  24. Sean Forristal says:

    God does harden a person’s heart and gives people over to perdition by two methods. First, in His permissive will, God allows an unrepentant sinner to be darkened in intellect and week in will through habitual grave sin. In other words, God’s first punishment is allowing the unrepentant sinner to reap what he has sown through sin.

    Second, God in His Divine Prerogative, removes more and more “Actual Graces” from the unrepentant sinner. God’s help in this person’s life becomes less and less (Actual Grace is God’s Grace to help us more conform to His Will, rather than Sanctifying Grace which is God’s Divine Life in us transforming us more to Himself, preserved by refraining from mortal sin). Thus, two events occur at the same time; one the natural human conscience gradually dies by the greater corruption of the will, and two, God further removes Himself from the life of the unrepentant. These concepts of Spiritual Theology can be traced to Sacred Scripture, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Spiritual Life by Adolphe Tanquerey.

    Hence, repentance and interior conversion are the means to remain both in Sanctifying Grace and in a more serene state of human nature.

  25. c matt says:

    a final, intensive and unprecedented unleashing of evil

    MTV – need I say more?

  26. Richard Connell says:

    “God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false.” Somewhere, or I’ve been told anyway, St. Augustine said that one of the punishments of sin is the desire to commit the sin again. This could be what St. Paul is getting at in that quote.–God sends strong delusion upon us when we sin as part of the punishment.

    Also, an empirical–and slightly vulgar–argument that gender is not self-defined came upon me: Though both men and women wear trousers now, a man will sometimes honestly forget to zip himself after dressing or using the restroom, whereas I have never known of a woman forgetting to zip herself either in reality or in the many and various forms of media.

    Good read. Thanks.

  27. Victor says:

    Good Post Msgr. Pope Watchman 🙂 God has maybe given you an End Time Ministry or Ordained you for this End Time Work.

    http://www.charismanews.com/culture/46113-gay-agenda-recruits-tony-the-tiger-in-pride-campaign

    – As of 11/7/14 — 32 States in The USA Have Legal Gay Marriage ! Jesus Return Like The Days of Lot !

    – 55 Million or More Abortions in The U.S. since 1973.

    – U.S. Approaching $18 Trillion Dollars in Debt

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KakZisTK_H4&feature=share

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205014311907089.1073741838.1520984148&type=1&l=dbb18bcea4

    Not Good to be like this today: Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark;…

    Ezekiel 33:16 — But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

    The ‘Doctrine of Continuance’ (‘all things will continue as they always have’) not good wisdom in today’s day and age.

    God’s Blessings, Much Love, Maranatha,

    Victor

    New Picture To Dispel all doubts about whether we are at the End/In End Times :: Jesus own Words from the Gospel of Matthew :: http://endoftheworld.net/Jesus/2014/11/10/israel-the-fig-tree/

    Shalom/Pax

    >

  28. Quisp says:

    Thank you Msgr Pope for a very informative essay! I agree with both Jim J. McCrea and Alison, above. The minor chastisement must precede the major chastisement (coming of antichrist). In between is the foretold ‘period of peace’ and the triumph of the Sacred Heart of Mary. Years ago, I read a wonderful, (but encyclopedic) work by Desmond Birch titled, “Trial, Tribulation and Triumph”. I highly recommend this book to all faithful Catholics. It compiles Church approved sources of prophecy and makes a compelling case that the antichrist is not about to make his appearance. During the minor chastisement, those who are unfamiliar with Catholic prophecy will think that it is the end (especially during the 3 days of darkness). We could very well be on the precipice of the minor chastisement, but the end is a ways off.

    Instead of focusing on the end of time, we would all do well to simply focus on our own end. That is the only ‘end’ you are sure to see.

  29. C Beltz says:

    In so many of these comments, I see fear and despair, yet where is the hope? Where is the trust in God’s Mercy?

    Is the end near? Who knows? Only God of course. Even the Son did not have the final date.

    And what good can a final date really do? One might argue, people would get their acts together, but really, would they? They might attempt to repent out of fear as a form of bargaining. But that doesn’t really guarantee them a spot in Heaven, now does it? If the repentance is just regret and bargaining, then their hearts (which only God can see) may not be “Heaven-worthy”.

    We have gotten so many “end of days” warnings over the years, and yet, here we are…a bunch of uber-sinners. So ultimatums clearly do not work.

    We have been warned. We know the truth. Fact: Absent of a chronologically impending “final judgement”, we all still face the reality of death – it is unavoidable. Death is final, and while the last judgement may not come for years, our place in it will be set at that time.

    So what do we do? Despair? Go crazy? Repent? Yea, some will do all or one of those things. Some might do something else.

    Here is the secret. Live now. Live here. Do God’s will. Follow his commandments. Love generously. Grow your heart every day in every way. When you are filled up with God’s love, what room is there for human fear?

    We have only one thing in this life – one fleeting moment. We receive it as a gift from God (that’s why it’s called the present…ahem), and we lose it as soon as we receive it. The past and the future belong to God alone. Living in the past or future is a vain attempt to steal from God what is rightfully his, while denying the gift of the present. It is pride at its most basic level. It is a lie of control. It is the work of the devil.

    One moment, just one. Accept it with gratitude and don’t squander it. The end is near.

  30. fr Ignatius Mary says:

    As a Catholic priest, I feel the need to invite you to consider the need for reparation, and tell friends and families. If we think being politically correct is the right tune of the gospel then we are mocking the gospel. I have been in chains for preaching the truth for the past three years. Providence allowed me to pray more in what authorities of my religious family think is a way to silence me. In prayer I have been taken to these passages in a repetitive urgent manner in the past three weeks: Isaiah 4, 48, 65, Ezekiel 14, and yesterday to Jeremiah 44. When you read these, you will understand where the clock is ticking. Not an end time, but we may not have the liberty to continue to pervert the world God created for a good purpose through compromised preaching. St. Alphonsus says that it’s only a soul full of fire who can ignite fire in others. Preachers are called flames of fire in the Letter to the Hebrews; this is far from the truth in many churches today.

    • Catharine says:

      Father Ignatius Mary, thank you for your ministry. I will pray for you, both tonight and at Eucharistic adoration on Sat. nite. I am likewise living in a place of comparative isolation, poverty, humility, obscurity, contempt but the one thing that this mode of being really fosters is a rich prayer and devotional life! Please keep praying and offering; if you are making up in your own body what is lacking to the Passion of the Christ for the sake of his body, the church (cf. Colossians 1:24), then your ministry will reap very rich fruit indeed.

  31. Billy Donahue says:

    I truly believe that the acceptance of homosexual behavior, to the point of making these practices heroic and the speed at which the culture has reversed from the natural law, is proof, to me, that satans hand is behind this. Likewise I believe that this behaviour is a direct attact on our Loving Creator, by mocking Him, saying in no uncertain terms, you don’t know how to create, we know better. This type of direct revolt against the Almighty, is a much graver sin than the sin of abortion, which, even as serious as it is, does not mock God.

  32. Plain Catholic says:

    What I appreciate about your teachings, Msgr Pope, is that you do not incite fear as so many “preppers” try to do. The Church’s teaching is to encourage repentance and prayer for “time is short”. It’s about getting our souls ready for eternity, not about hiding in a bunker. God bless you.

    Alternatively, many are using fear-mongering to make money from “preppers”. Even when encouraged to study Catholic teaching, these preppers cling to their fears as if it will make a difference. But we all die and we all must give an accounting for our lives.

  33. Liam Ronan says:

    One can never know if The Final Judgement is immediately at hand although Jesus did suggest to His disciples that they ought read the signs of the times and thereby implying that some form of discernment of the end might be intuited.

    Notwithstanding The Last Judgement, there are chastisements which God visits upon mankind owing to the sins of man. Some chastisements are spiritual, i.e. spiritual blindness and a dead conscience, while others are spiritual such as wars, etc.

    I do dare say that there is no doubt that we are living in and through the Times referred to by Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Akita (both series of apparitions approved by the Church, the former by the Universal Church).

    I suggest we must gird ourselves for a chastisement in the very near future which will be commensurate with the scale and gravity of the sins of this, our generation. Abortion, homosexuality, divorce, child molestation, apostasy, etc.

    Last Judgement? No perhaps not as yet; however I should not be too surprised to have terrible natural and spiritual calamities visited on the world in the not too distant future.

  34. Agapatos says:

    I don’t think that the End of the World will come any time soon for several reasons:
    (1) We’re not nearly through the 10 weeks of all of human history as listed in of the book of Enoch. (Right now I believe we’re just starting the 7th week, each week being 1000 years.)
    (2) While Revelation’s 7 Bowls of Wrath may come after the final judgment, the 7 trumpets cannot. The most recent trumpet we’ve arguably perhaps experienced was the 3rd trumpet, the Star which falls from Heaven named “Wormwood” (Rev. 8:11). “Chernobyl” means “wormwood in Ukranian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl

  35. Victor says:

    I know I said I wasn’t going to post anymore, (today) but important stuff 🙂 — Blessings, Shalom

  36. vic says:

    I don’t find a lot of consolation in the fact that other periods of trial and great evil have come and gone. When the final time does come, if we are too relaxed–believing ‘this too shall pass’– will we ever be in for a surprise! Watch and pray.

  37. Michael Petek says:

    There’s one missing, Father. The end of history will not come as long as the Jews have not yet recognized Jesus as the Messiah.

    The strong delusion which will precede the Last Judgement is imposed on those whom God foresees will be alive and in their sins at the Judgement, which will then be imminent. It is a punishment from God imposed on those who have rejected the truth which could have saved them.

    A case in point was recently flagged up by Justina van Maren of the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform,. She had a scary encounter with a woman who looked at the display photos of aborted babies and said that she knew that abortion kills a baby, and she was “cool with that”.

    No argument can succeed with monsters such as these. We do not try to convert them. We leave them to the execution of God’s wrath.

    • Catharine says:

      With all due respect, no one should be written off as “unsalvageable” or “unsalvationable” until he/she enters into his/her particular judgment, which takes place at the very instant of death. We ourselves are going to be judged as to whether we called out that person to knowledge of his/her sins and to repentance, and especially whether or not we prayed and offered penances and sacrifices for their sins, and for their eventual conversion. I know this. My own mother was a convert who lost the faith and spent the last decades of her life in a rather horrible state of mortal sin, was most resistant to conversion. All discussion and arguments, all attempts to get her to see the folly of her ways, proved fruitless, or even served to harden her in her attitude. I prayed and offered for that woman for 10+ years.
      In the last hour or two of her life, after having been in multiple organ failure and coma for approx. 2 full days, she awoke to full consciousness only to find a young Catholic priest over her hospital bed, giving her the last rites. Family members (all out of the church, unfortunately, for decades themselves) could only tell me that “it seemed to make a huge impression on her” and that she knew exactly what was going on, with crystal clarity, in her last moments.
      I had prayed to God for some sign that all of these years of prayers, etc., were not in vain. I took this as a sign that she had received the grace necessary for salvation (final repentance) right at the very end. A few weeks after her death, I had a sort of mystical experience where I felt her presence near me while I was praying ardently. She seemed to be about 30 years old (she was 86 when she died), was full of life laughter and joy, and most unusual for that woman, all of the malice, the hatred, the anger, the snottiness, etc. were completelly gone. I received some “lights” about the nature of final repentance and what goes on in Purgatory which are completely outside the scope of this article & this thread.
      Suffice it to say, I am calling all of the readers of this thread to redouble their efforts to pray, to offer sacrifices and good works, to offer penances, etc., that everyone will receive those salutary graces necessary for salvation at or near the time of death. I believe these prayers will prove to be most efficacious, as we are seeking Divine Mercy and if God has a middle name, it is Divine Mercy. God delights in showering mercy on his creatures!

  38. Deacon Ed Peitler says:

    Keep ’em coming, Msgr. Your blog entries have provided me with inspiration on topics to be presented in the homilies I give.

  39. Craig says:

    The delusion talked about in the article seems to be wrapped in compassion ( maybe a false compassion?) Could you maybe expand on this Msgr. Pope? Thank you, Craig

    • The Greek word used by Paul is plánē – deviant behavior; a departure from what God says is true; an error (deception) which results in wandering (roaming into sin). Strongs Concordance says, πλάνη, πλάνης, ἡ, a wandering, a straying about, whereby one, led astray from the right way, roams hither and thither (Aeschylus (Herodotus), Euripides, Plato, Demosthenes, others). In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion.

      Not sure why you link the word to compassion or seem concerned about a lack of it. But surely the truth is compassion, error and lies are not.

  40. chris awo says:

    Father,
    I know it is difficult to stomach but we are indeed in the End-Times. All indications point to it. But then people will not believe so it will still come like a thief in the night.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes
    http://www.popeleo13.com/pope/2014/11/09/category-archive-message-board-170-smmary-of-end-times-1/

  41. A. Martin says:

    My conclusion:

    1.) Own gold and a gun (for self defense)
    2.) Stay in the State of Grace
    3.) Make amends to others by being loving and caring
    4.) Pray hard for God’s forgiveness and mercy
    5.) Affirm that He is Christ The King in all things

    • Marie says:

      Your list is way out of order. You place owning gold higher than the state of grace!

      What kind of a Christian view is that? Whatever happened to “lay not up for yourselves earthly treasure”?

      At the least, #1 should be bumped down to #5; in a truly Christian perspective maybe it shouldn’t be on the list at all, but should be replaced by the full quote from Mt 6:19-21.

  42. Eric says:

    You may be right Monsignor. All of the moral chaos in the world, and it has been building up slowly for centuries only to be fully set loose in our day and time, could be setting the stage for the lawless one. Especially if there is a global military catastrophe, and this seems far more likely now than it would have even a year ago. Some charismatic figure may come along at some point promising to restore order out of the chaos, but on his own terms, not those of God. And 99% of what he says may sound good and right and true but it will be that last 1% that is the catch.

    This may or this may not be true (I think it is but who am I to judge?), but, even if we are not nearing the end of the world, we are definitely approaching the end of our civilization.

    @Michael Petek Pray for that person. Maybe your arguments won’t convert them but God can convert anyone.

  43. Peter says:

    Since the coming of Mohamed, Islam teaches in the Koran that we, both Christians (Catholic or other) and Jews and the non-religious, all the “unbelievers”, are to be converted to Islam. If not by persuasion, then by force. If not by force, then in a nutshell we are to be eliminated. The extremists are already doing this. According to the Koran it is the word of God given directly by the Angel Gabriel to Mohamed and abrogates all previous revelations, as well as any future revelations that we Catholics believe, such as Lourdes, Fatima, and the wonderful miraculous giving of the stigmata to St. Francis of Assisi, and to our latter-day Padre Pio. It is not to be changed therefore, and it may only really be understood in Arabic, since any translation into another language is to imply that misinterpretion is possible. Whilst many of Islam accept Jesus as a prophet they cannot accept that He was divine. “How, when He [God] hath no consort, should He have a son”? Sura 112,3 tells us that while “He is not begotten”, “He begetteth not”. These are the Islamic denials of the divinity of Jesus. They would seem to be setting limits on the omnipotence of God to make interventions of His choice in His own creation of humanity; in other words, that God could not have Jesus born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, even though Islam believes in the Holy Spirit and that Mary was a virgin. They do not seem to see their dilemma in this. The western world openly encourages and invites Muslims into our countries, perhaps because too many of us in the past invaded Arabic countries for their riches, or in the present “invest”, or try to impose democracy on a people who do not understand it. Mostly, for the present, the Western World wants their “black gold”. There are now proportionally many more Muslims in Europe than there were ever in the Middle Ages before they were expelled. They continue to penetrate little by little the Western World, including the USA, Canada and Australia, etc. Paying for their “black gold” will not make any difference. They are permitted to have their own schools, more and more, and have their own institutions, more and more, with the intention of beginning to exert some control over our way of life and proceedings, not to mention our traditional laws. Politicians bend over backwards to accommodate them. One day, if and when they, both peaceful and extremist, will be strong enough, they will take us over, and there will be no choice for us in our way of life. Islamic law will be imposed upon us. Will this be the AntiChrist in our midst?

  44. Merri says:

    May I add a thankyou Monsignor and I shall include you and all the religious of Jesus Christ our Saviour/God in The Holy Rosary to Jesus and our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God.

    For all I implore people to pray to Jesus daily His Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm if possible:

    for the ‘conversion of sinners’ with trust in your hearts while focussing on Jesus’ bitter Passion and His Sorrowful Stations of His Cross completely trusting in Jesus after firstly repenting sins from a contrite heart – refer to Jesus’ Divine Mercy Chaplet.

    Pray to our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God Her Holy Rosary given by God as His Holy Gift to our Heavenly Mother Mary of which Jesus delivered to Saint Dominic in the year 1214 and later to Blessed Alan (another Priest) during 1260 including our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God.

    The Angelic Salutation draws down upon us the Blessings of Jesus and Mary in abundance for it is an infallible Truth that Jesus and Mary reward in a marvellous way those who Glorify them. They repay in a hundredfold for the praises that we give them.

    In each Hail Mary we Bless both Jesus and Mary.

    “Blessed art Thou among women and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb Jesus”.

    Jesus said:

    “I love them that Love Me that I may enrich them that Love Me and fill their treasures (proverbs 8:17).

    http://www.rosary-center.org/secret.htm

    Saint Louis De Montfort’s – Secret of The Rosary

    Jesus’ Holy Words to Blessed Alan one day while Blessed Alan was about to say Mass:

    “How can you crucify Me again so soon? said Jesus

    “What did You say Lord?” asked Blessed Alan de la Roche.

    “You crucified Me once before by your sins”, answered Jesus.

    “and I would willingly be crucified again rather than have My Father offended by the sins you used to commit. You are crucifying Me again now because you have all the learning and understanding that you need to preach My Mother’s Rosary, and you are not doing so. If you only did this you could teach many souls the right path and lead them away from sin – but you are not doing it and so you yourself are guilty of the sins that they commit”.

    This terrible reproach made Blessed Alan solemnly resolve to preach The Rosary unceasingly.

    Our Lady spoke to him one day to inspire him to preach The Holy Rosary more and more:

    “You were a great sinner in your youth, she said, “but I obtained the Grace of your conversion from My Son. Had such a thing been possible I would have liked to have gone through all kinds of suffering to save you because converted sinners are a glory to me. And I would have done this also to make you worthy of preaching My Rosary far and wide”.

    Saint Dominic said to Blessed Allan de la Roche:

    “See the wonderful results I have had through preaching The Holy Rosary! You and all those who love Our Lady ought to do the same so that, by means of this holy practice of the Rosary, you may draw all people to the real science of the virtues”.

    Saint Dominic’s words to Blessed Allan:

    “My son it is good to preach but there is always a danger of looking for praise rather than the salvation of souls. Listen carefully to what happened to me in Paris so that you may be on guard against this kind of mistake. I was to preach in the great Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and I was particularly anxious to give a brilliant Sermon not out of pride but because of the high intellectual stature of the congregation.

    An hour before the time I had to preach, I was recollectedly saying my Holy Rosary – as I always did before giving a Sermon when I fell into ecstacy. I saw my Beloved Friend the Mother of God coming towards me with a book in Her hand”.

    Our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God’s Holy words to Saint Dominic:
    “Dominic, your sermon today may be very good indeed but no matter how good it is, I have brought you one that is very much better”.

    Saint Dominic’s words:

    “Of course I was overjoyed, took the book and read every Word of it. Just as Our Lady had said, I found exactly the right things to say in my sermon, so I thanked Her with all my heart”.

    The Angelic Salutation was delivered to the Congregation by Saint Dominic to the religious, Scholars, University Professors – The Holy Rosary for all to pray from their hearts to our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God.

    kindest wishes

    • picaerd costello says:

      Merri, I agree with all the prayers you have posted. But do me a favor and stay away from the image revealed to Sr. Faustina Kowalska. It was banned for 20 years by the Holy Office under the Prefect-ship of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.
      http://iconicjesus.org/home/category/objections-to-image-revealed-to-sr-faustina/
      http://iconicjesus.org/home/category/objections-to-devotion-revealed-to-sr-faustina/

      • Catharine says:

        The reason the Divine Mercy devotion was banned for 20 years (which Saint Faustina herself predicted would happen) was because the Vatican officials in charge of translating Saint Faustina’s diary from Polish dialect into Italian unfortunately did a total “botch job” of the translation, and some of her writings appeared to be heterodox if not outright heretical.
        As soon as Pope John Paul II was elected pope, being a native Polish speaker, and having some level of knowledge about this subject, he called for her writings to be re-examined and re-translated by more competent personnel. In defense of the first ones, Saint Faustina had at most 2-3 years of formal schooling; her spelling, grammar and syntax were atrocious, and she was certainly no speaker of “King’s Polish.” With someone doing the translation who was familiar with both standard Polish, her dialect, and Italian, numerous errors were discovered and corrected. The devotion (which was very helpful and consoling to the Polish nation during their trials during and after WWII) was reinstated, and this devotion has spread throughout the entire world since then.
        Instead of setting oneself up as judge or arbiter especially in matters where we as laypeople have neither jurisdiction nor competence to judge anything, much less overrule competent ecclesial authority, I think we would do well to follow the directives of the Holy See (basic Christian unity).

        • picaerd costello says:

          Merri and Catherine, be careful. It is the Lord Jesus who warns us.
          “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.”
          (Matthew 24 v 11)

          • . . . all for Jesus+ says:

            +“GOD is a Spirit; and they that adore Him, must adore Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.” – John 4: 24.+

            +The now defunct . . . “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” (Index of Prohibited [banned] Books) . . . alluded to above . . . had become a notoriously . . . political . . . power tool . . . in Vatican circles under Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani’s scandal ridden rule . . . and in 1966 our now Beatified (soon to become a CANONIZED SAINT) Pope Paul VI became greatly concerned that the Index’s use simply was NOT of the LORD . . .

            Executing his Papal Authority, Pope Paul VI ABOLISHED the Index in 1966. Also in 1966 he ABROGATED (abolished/annuled) Canon Law # 1385 which was the legal Canon Law foundation re the now ABOLISHED Index. The Holy Father encouraged and accepted Cardinal Ottaviani’s resignation from his central administrative post within the Vatican not long thereafter . . .

            Just to mention a few who were placed on the infamous Index and banned under Cardinal Ottaviani’s abusive rule as “unsuitable” were the following individuals and their writings:

            – The miraculous stigmatist priest, Padre Pio, who is now the CANONIZED Holy Roman Catholic SAINT Pio (and he was placed under “house arrest” until upon further investigation by the Holy See completely vindicated him)
            – The LORD’S own called and anointed “holy little secretary“, the now CANONIZED Holy Roman Catholic SAINT Faustina Kowalska
            – Victor Hugo (author of the famous literary classic“Les Miserable” – an extraordinarily profound story of the holy redemption of a soul purchased by the prayers and actions of a Bishop of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”)
            – Alexander Dumas (famed author of “The Three Musketeers” & “The Count of Monte Cristo“),
            – Catholic Visionary Maria Valtorta (famed author of the three volume “The Poem of the Man God“)
            – Gustave Flaubert (famed French author)
            – John Milton (famed English poet and writer)

            Just to mention a few of many now famed august authors who were banned and placed on the Index . . .

            NOTE: Adolph Hitler’s . . . egregious HATE filled . . . lethal evil philosophical work . . . “Mein Kampf” . . . which so infected Europe with virulent MALIGNANT evil . . . wherein Europe erupted into the deadly World War II . . . and millions upon millions of precious human lives were lost . . . was NOT placed on the Index by Cardinal Ottaviani . . .

            Historically . . . Cardinal Ottaviani’s . . . faulty judgment . . . and . . . disgraceful misuse . . . and abuse . . . of the power of his office have created considerable scandal and trouble . . . and division . . . within our Holy Mother Church . . .

            . . . all for Jesus+

  45. Merri says:

    I did forget to post a link to Jesus’ Divine Mercy Chaplet – any link under Divine Mercy – people should find Jesus’ Divine Mercy Chaplet.

    There is one link of which I send to other people – Divinemercy.com

    Kindest wishes

  46. Buckieboy says:

    Remember what Christ said, There will be many who walk in my foot steps but will be working for the devil,
    Look at the churches, Ministers, priest who are Liberal Thinkers, They support Abortion, Gay Marriage, and the Liberal Agenda.
    I said to my Priest one morning while I was walking into Church, Father I know what your Sermon is, He look at me and Said YOU DO, what, and than I said why are so many Catholics ANTI-CATHOLIC. About 3 months later he invited me into his Office to Learn what I meant by it, Then when I started to name off Catholics who Back and push Abortions, Pelosi, Biden, Landrieu, The Kennedy Family, Leahy, Sanchez, Durbin, First thing that came out of his Mouth, Well what did Bush do about abortions, I said Father Bush isn’t Catholic, We are talking About Catholics, Than when I said to Him The Way I feel Father, When I walk into That Voting Booth and Vote for a Politician who Supports Abortion I am as Guilty as the Women Having it or the Doctor Performing it.
    he threw up His Hands and Told me To Leave, He heard enough, I guess I hit a Sore spot because he Voted for Obama.
    Than when I ask My Other Liberal Priest , Why do we Pray to Stop Abortions, He looked at me , Than I said to Him, You ask us to Pray to Stop Abortions, Than YOU and 50% of the Church gout and VOTE for Politicians who keep Abortion Going. He said to Me, Well you know there is more to It than That. WHAT FATHER.

  47. John Francis says:

    Well stated Billy.
    our Blessed Mother said “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”
    We living could see the 3 days of darkness yet.
    it saddens my heart that my children and grandchildren have to contend with these things.
    but the Lord loves us much.
    AMDG

  48. Nicholas Hesed says:

    what is missing from this discussion is the Roman Catholic understanding that the Tribulation is a double: there will be a little tribulation, culminating in a generation of peace, and then later a more intense major tribulation.

    {40:1} Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God.
    {40:2} Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her: for her evil is come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven: she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.

    Also what about the Great Catholic Monarch, Angelic Shepherd, the Comet, and the Three Days of Darkness? What about the Seal of the Living God? What about Mary and all the faithful helping salvage the Church and the world via the Rosary?

    What about the Return of Enoch and Elias during the reign of Antichrist. Devout Catholics ought to start getting used to some of these prophetic concepts because stuff will start happening and many think the end is coming but the end is not so near like Jesus said. Jesus and Mary have a plan. Its not like all of a sudden Jesus will just one day Return and his close followers will be surprised.

    Eschatology is too vague and bland in Catholic circles but I agree with some of your commentaries and insights into the delusions of today’s world Mgsnr.

  49. Catharine says:

    Father, thank you for yet another excellent teaching! Personally, I tend very much to the line of thinking of Rossi Gaudentius (The Christian Trumpet, 1873, now happily back in print from Mother of our Savior in Pekin, IN), and Father Gerald Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times, 1941, republished by TAN Books and also by several others.
    They tend to think, based upon both Bible selections treating with these matters, and numerous private prophecies which tend overwhelmingly to reinforce, supplement and support each other, that the subject of the end times, the Last Judgment, etc., is of such importance that Divine Providence has ordained that this will happen in part not once but twice. The first time around (the “great tribulation”) can be regarded as somewhat of a full dress rehearsal for the Last Judgment. These prophecies treated in these books and others were made, or received, if you will, over a timespan of some 1,500 years and from all parts of the Christian world. These saints, many of whom were religious cloistered in monasteries, convents, cloisters, etc., cannot possibly have been in contact with each other, as either distance or time lapse of centuries involved would have made this impossible.
    Interestingly, many of the private prophecies deal with a seemingly endless economic collapse, followed by a period of time in which Islam will commit innumerable atrocities esp. in Western Europe. Several predict that a time will come when the Communists (or the “red-caps,” the “Reds” or “communards” etc. will seem to be a thing of the past; however, they will suddenly invade Europe on 3 fronts (North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and overland which given the geography of Europe would almost certainly seem to include the Fulda Gap in Bavaria.) Communism will conquer Europe and then the USA. Several prophets and saints, including Sister Lucia and St. Padre Pio, speak of the Communist flag flying over the Vatican at this time, but only for a very brief period of time. After which point all hell will seem to break completely loose.
    As to the role of the USA, several of these prophecies speak to the USA being devastated by far eastern forces in what seems to be a thermonuclear war in which the USA’s defenses will be mysteriously knocked out for about 3 months. The west coast of the USA is spoken of as being hardest hit.
    “As long as public prayers continue, all will continue as before. However, a time when public prayers cease” will come, and this is apparently the last straw for Divine Providence, as it were.
    Other indicators of when things spin out of control are that the women of various nations will become almost completely sexually perverted (I think we’ve been there for some decades now) and that the innocence of even little children will be deliberately perverted and destroyed (ditto).
    I personally tend to suspect, based upon various snippets of interviews given by Sister Lucia of Fatima and various cardinals who read both texts of the Third Secret of Fatima, that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in Rome, and simultaneously by all of the bishops of the world in their home cathedrals, to be in a solemn public ceremony of reparation to the IHM. Several Popes have consecrated the world to the IHM but never Russia, all by itself without mention of any other country, and certainly not with the public, simultaneous ceremonies by all of the world’s bishops in their home cathedrals.
    But, after the triumph of the IHM, there will be a splendid time of peace, prosperity and conversion when much of the world will become faithfully and fervently Catholic. The duration of the triumph of the IHM is not known, but given that we are dealing with the Blessed Virgin who has spared herself nothing in regards to our salvation, it would probably be for some reasonable length of time, probably at least several decades. After that, people, becoming spoiled once again by unprecedented peace and prosperity, will became faithless and degenerate; religious practice decline, and the true last times including the period of the Antichrist will commence.
    Since we cannot possibly know in advance God’s chronology of events, I think the best thing to do is to remain where we are, remain in the state of sanctifying grace, strive to do everything possible to increase our prayer & devotional life, and pray, offer fasting & almsgiving, good works, etc., do penances for the entire world in general, and every individual soul in particular. I am becoming more and more convinced that not only, as the Blessed Virgin told the children at Fatima, “many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and offer for them,” but also that many souls could be saved by our fervent prayers. I believe scripture says that no one is denied sufficient grace; we can certainly obtain more grace for each soul by our prayers and suffrages, thus increase their likelihood of salvation.

    • Phyllis Poole says:

      Jesus said we are in the last times. In the 1880’s Pope LeoXIII heard a locution of God giving the world to the devil to give him time to take humanity and His church from him, as his claim was. You can see the world has become easier, laxer, families broken and much more worldly centered since that time.
      But what about the 3daysdarkness that God will inflict upon us to cleanse the earth and humanity?That must come before the end for it has been told to many saints over many years-.then the end of the world comes many more years after that. What also about the messages from Mejurgore ? They also must come first.
      The end of the world is many years away I feel but we are certainly living in the devil’s world right now!

    • Albie in Angelus says:

      Great post….it is both a blessing and intimidating. I am blessed by re-reading things I knew and believed; I am intimidated by all the things I did not know. I need more time in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

    • Dominic chiango says:

      Great response to Msgr. Charles Pope’s analysis on the coming judgment and future antichrist.

      According to Father Joseph Iannuzzi, an expert theologian in Rome on the end times, there is also an antichrist before the “era of peace”.

      Father Joseph teaches that there have been many antichrists in salvation history, each more powerful than the preceding one.

      Many people I know who study the end time period prior to the actuality of Rev. 20:4 (as properly understood by the Magisterium) say that the next antichrist is “around the corner”, and the years 2015, 2016, and 2017 set the stage for the subsequent era of peace. This period could be the biblical “great tribulation” brought on by the height of mankind’s lawlessness, followed soon thereafter by the “Lawless One”.

      The private revelation messages dated November 1 through 10, 2014, as shown on the website, Locutions.org and “backed up” by Msgr. John A. Esseff from Scranton, Pa. (Mother Theresa’s spiritual adviser, and Padre Pio being Msgr.’s spiritual director) indicate that there will be a worldwide economic collapse in 2015. This anonymous locutionist predicted (allegedly via our Blessed Mother) on January 1, 2012 that we would soon have a new pope (Francis).

      As you know, the purpose of predictive prophecy is not to scare, but rather “prepare” spiritually and at times
      physically. I live on the east coast near the Atlantic ocean, and I thank the good Lord for the weather forecasters
      who warned me to prepare for Hurricane Sandy two years ago.

      A final thought. Is it possible that I can correspond with this person who posted his thoughts about end times?
      If so, how?

  50. Margaret in MI says:

    The book: ‘Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity’ by Michael Coren recently discussed in JihadWatch, Catholic World Report and TruthRevolt includes discussion on why the Church is so silent on the escalation of genocide of Christians in the Middle East. Do our current day martyrs deserve more from us before the ‘coming Judgement’?

  51. Margaret in MI says:

    edit last sentence: ‘current day THOUSANDS of martyrs’

  52. Peter says:

    Nothing

  53. Candida Bohnne Eittreim says:

    We, especially myself, needed this cogent and reasoned clarification of things we spiritually intuit. It is a quiet affirmation. Having read your blogs for quite a long time, i’ve learned to trust your reasoning on many many things. It has increased the desire in so many of us to pray without ceasing for the redemption/conversion of many of these rebellious souls. There was a brief time, out in the streets, where there were a surprising number of souls who were receptive to God. Now… i see a hardened refusal to even consider trying to change.

    Many are fearful and clinging to false prophets like Mary Cardwell-Maria Divine Mercy. Even though the Church’s stance on her is clear. While we should view this time with trepidation, our love for and trust in Jesus Christ, should reassure us of His abiding love for His faithful. We do not need boarded windows, magic grapes or secret seals to assure salvation. True soul deep repentance, conversion of heart, a all day, every day living breathing love of God, prayers and the Sacraments will bring us home. Pray penitential Rosary’s for those who are lost. Trust in God. All will be well, all will be well, all manner of things shall be well.

    • Jack says:

      “Pray penitential Rosary’s for those who are lost”.
      Yes, Candida, but only those who are lost AND alive because our prayers may bring them to conversion.
      Those who are dead and lost, are lost forever.
      By an act of extreme love we should not pray for the damned souls because this only will result in an increase of their torments and their hatred against those who are saved.

      • John says:

        Only God knows who is damned, we do not, so we must pray for God’s mercy, and trust in it. If we pray for all, our prayers will not be wasted on the damned, they will be spent on those most in need of God’s mercy.

    • Terry says:

      The Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal, and Blessed objects, such a Crucifix are very important to have and use.

  54. Rev. Thomas Dufner says:

    Ours is the first age when the whole world could be corrupted. In the past, if the big cities were corrupted there was always a heartland of values. But no more. We are all watching the same mass media. If that weren’t enough, contraception as a practice and an attitude has sought to overturn the entire natural law, and has been embraced by the vast majority. One writer put it, the widespread acceptance of contraception assured gay marriage.

    I’m not saying the anti-christ is at hand, but this is the first age when he could seduce the whole world.

    • Candida Bohnne Eittreim says:

      i agree with this. God bless you.

    • mark says:

      I am convinced that the antichrist is the spirit of secularism we are witnessing right now, tearing up all that is good.

    • Matt says:

      It is also the first time in history when it would be technologically possible for a single person to rule the entire world. While it used to take months or years for a leader to travel halfway around the globe, or for an edict to be enforced in faraway lands, it is now possible for him to make his edicts known essentially instantaneously, and to be physically present in any part of the world in a matter of a few hours. He can command his armies from his office at home. He can speak directly to virtually anyone at any time. His image and wishes can be transmitted into almost every home whenever he wants. In the more developed countries surveillance technologies are ubiquitous, making the chase scenes in Fahrenheit 451 and the surveillance in 1984 truly possible.

      Imagine what someone like Hitler would have been able to do with today’s technology.

  55. Jim says:

    As spooky as this stuff sounds (and it is very well writen), don’t let your hearts be troubled. Follow your instuctions from your Savior and all will be right for you. Your witness will save others. But sadly the vast majority will be lost

  56. Gregory R. Susoreny says:

    Much of eschatology is circular argumentation based on interpretation of revelation. (An example of recent revelation of course, is the Book of Mormon). The interpretation of scripture is largely the consensus of people who choose to believe that the revelation is true. Both consensus and revelation are weak criteria of truth, as evinced by the unfortunately abundant history of misinterpretation of scripture.

    • John says:

      “The interpretation of scripture is largely the consensus of people who choose to believe that the revelation is true”. The statement above would be true had not Jesus given us a church possessing an infallibility of translation (interpretation). Jesus did not give us the bible, but rather, he gave us a church which is the protector of the word inspired by God, and for the very reason you state above, which is the many (thousands) of false “interpretations” of many groups of people today. Can we be so silly as to think Jesus did not know this would happen, that his church would splinter into thousands of different sects with differing interpretations of not only the inspired word but also claiming to know his thinking and actions. Only those to whom he gave his authority and the Holy Spirit had this, and those to whom it was passed down possess it today. This is how God works, it is proven throughout the bible, in both testaments. The one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church has the only “valid” interpretation of the revealed word of God because Jesus himself gave the custodian of the word to his church.

  57. Beatrice Bowling Zienkosky says:

    I am convinced we are almost in the final days of the fullfillment of the end times. I read The Spiritual Journey of George Washington by Janice T Connell, and did not know our country was consecrated to The Blessed Mother in 1792 ,by Archbishop John Carroll, This is fact. Not made up by anyone and it is probable that George Washington was present at the consecration.The copy of the consecration is in the Library of Congress . I believe this consecration has saved America many times in the past from destruction. I did not know until I read Janice’s book, that General Washington while at Valley Forge , had a visit from The Blessed Mother while in his quarters. An eyewitness to the Generals’ testimony recounted the story. He and an officer ,General Washington had summoned to his quarters, were told of the visit the same day as it occurred.
    I read the account and to me it was so wonderful that, since reading this book, I have never stopped praying for America and her leaders.( Although I find it hard to pray for some of them.) I believe the way our country goes has to do with our devoting our prayers to the Blessed Mother to take to Jesus for our Countrys’ protection. We were given help I am convinced, because of the prayers that went up for the removal of so many pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-legalized drugs proponents this recent election, and the list goes on and on of the laws from the pit of hell that have been passed since our last decent government was installed in our country. We are seeing the results of it and I think if America prays well and constantly, we can forestall the disasters that I think are coming upon us. Look at how the country prayed for the peril we were in during the war that could have destroyed us WW2. I love our country but it has become a ” cesspool ” and the Father in Heaven will not abide much longer. I am afraid for our country and the way it is going is ” Lawlessness “, as this is a sign of the end times. I also feel that one of the most powerful prayers, besides the rosary and the Our Father is the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. Sister Faustina has a lot to say about the end times in her diary and it is very scary if you are not a Christian. Please keep praying for The United States and we will see a difference.

    • Albie in Angelus says:

      Wow….great info….will try to get that book. God bless.

    • Daniel says:

      I have included our United States of America in my Rosary intentions for about six months now….for the country’s protection from enemies foreign and domestic.

  58. thelastprophet says:

    Signs and wonders indeed, if the world has a God, it is mammon.
    Of course it is hard to predict anything, “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”
    Matthew 16-3
    The hearts of men (and women) have indeed grown cold, iniquity abounds.
    The human race can no longer be exactly called human, we have an exoskeleton of technology w/o which we cannot survive. Products and services are bought and sold around the globe under the watchful eye of the almighty UPC, which is required by international treaties to be ever-present. We have probed the inner recesses of life, genetic technology is capable of producing children with 2 or 3 parents, human beings are reduced to units.
    Life is the cheapest commodity of the face of the earth, millions of the unborn are murdered every year, while same-sex marriage is foisted upon the populace.
    Religious fanatics claiming to act in the name of God terrorize entire populations, while other countries are too paralyzed by their own sins to intervene.

    The Beast, The False Prophet, The Anti-Christ, we see things in our world today which certainly fill the bill, if we know where to look. We cannot expect to see Revelation fulfilled in some certain way, we see as thru a glass darkly.

  59. Josh says:

    Isn’t the Preterist view that these things have already happened and that Revelation referred to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the end of the Old Covenant rites and temple worship etc and the judgement on the Jews of that generation for the death of the Messiah and the Prophets? The end of the Old Covenant and of that Age?

    I thought the Catholic position on Revelation was a preterist one.

    • Yes, and I generally concur with the preterits view. But even the Preterist view greenly acknowledges that the last two chapters of Genesis probably DO pertain to the eschaton more than to the first century, what with a new heaven and a new earth. At least the allegories point forward.

  60. Philip says:

    Stay sober.

    Amen.

    The oil for your lamps are located in your local Catholic Church. Daily Rosaries and frequent reception of the Eucharist (worthily), will help to keep your lamps filled until the bridegroom cometh.

  61. folle says:

    the end times is predicted in the Holy Bible. Just listen and heed. Watch and be ready. Spend the day as if it were your last. Keep close to God. Avoid sin . Be kind to one another and help the poor and needy.

  62. Scott Pauline says:

    Dear Msgr,

    Thank your this article. MIght I however indicate from EWTN scholars’ research into the centuries of fully approved Private Revelation that this is not the Great Apostasy, but the Minor Apostasy, which carries the conditional minor chastisement, or dress rehearsal for the end of the world, after which Christians will be reunited and a glorious renewal of the human race for Our Lady’s Age of Peace. Only later will the great falling away of public revelation occur, at which time Antichrist will arise, and the tribulation of the end occur:

    Here is the link and quote for your reference, and associated quote therefrom:

    http://ewtn.com/expert/answers/endtimes.htm

    Approved Catholic mystics (Venerables, Blessed and Saints, approved apparitions) throw considerable light on this order, by prophesying a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur.

    Although this is not Catholic doctrine, arising as it does from private revelation, it conforms to what is occurring in our time, especially in light of Our Lady of Fátima’s promise of an “Era of Peace.” This “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” (other saints have spoken of a social reign of Jesus Christ when Jesus will reign in the hearts of men) would seem to occur prior to the rise of the Antichrist. The optimism of the Pope for the “New Evangelization” and a “Civilization of Love” in the Third Millennium of Christianity fits here, as well. This would place us, therefore, in the period just before the events spoken of in the Catechism, that is, on the verge of the evangelization of the entire world. Other interpretations are possible, but none seem to fit the facts as well, especially when approved mystics are studied, instead of merely alleged ones.

  63. Scott Pauline says:

    God, man, and frogs: the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet

    When we are fallen, we consider ourselves frogs.

    The Egyptians considered frogs gods, meaning, they elevated frogs to a higher level than themselves.

    When man is fallen, he likens himself a frog relative to God: he considers himself to have divine nature higher than God’s.

    Moreover, the frog seems a higher being than man because the frog can live in water or the land, doesn’t matter. Man, however, can only live on the land. Put another way, the land is a foundation for man. Man’s only true foundation is the pillar and GROUND of truth, the Church (1 Tim 3:15). Apart from the foundation of truth and grace, man will drown in the ocean.

    But the frog can live in either, and this is how fallen man sees himself relative to God: able to live with or without God, able to swim in the sea of chaos and lack of truth and grace, and still survive.

    Yet the actual, true result of man shedding God’s truth and grace is an ocean that he WILL drown in, for the result of wickedness is death, man’s annihilation of himself, “Armageddon”

    Apocalypse 16:
    [13] And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. [14] For they are the spirits of devils working signs, and they go forth unto the kings of the whole earth, to gather them to battle against the great day of the Almighty God. [15] Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

    • Anne Marie says:

      Got to remember that the frogs were one of the gods of the Egyptians, and was one of the 9 plauges in Exodus.

  64. Scott Pauline says:

    Consider the following anti-sacramental interpretation of the False Prophet as an image of the lies of the fall that our current world believes in this minor apostasy:

    The Lamb’s Seven Horns and the False Prophet’s Two

    PART I: Baptism and Marriage — Basic Sacraments of Protestants Summarize all Basic Goodness in Life

    Might I add extrapolation on the purposes of life, per Catholic Catechism from antiquity:

    1) To know, love, and serve God in this life

    2) To be happy with Him forever in the next

    The first condition, to know, love and serve God, is the disposition of Baptism, since knowing God is faith, and love and service is good will, or repentance, the two primary dispositions that we must have for Baptism and to remain faithful to our Baptismal vows.

    And the second condition is like Marriage to God, since, collectively, we shall all be caught up as the Woman who marries Jesus.

    And it is interesting to note that Baptism and Marriage are the two sacraments that are truly basic, since they are the only ones had by those Christians most fully separated from us, that is, separated from Apostolic Succession, Protestants.

    Moreover, see how these two basic sacraments relieve the two conditions of Original Sin: Baptism relieves us of the burden of Original Sin, and Marriage relieves us the secondary burden of Original Sin, concupiscence.

    This is very profound, considering that, Original Sin and its residue are the basis of the Fall, and clearly the fall is the antithesis of our life purposes above, and therefore also of the basic sacraments, Baptism and Marriage:

    Anti-Baptismal Spirit: The first lie of the dragon is, have no regard for the Baptismal disposition, no faith, no repentance: believe what you want and do what you want.

    Anti-Marital Spirit: The second lie is like it: don’t live for the Marriage with God in the next life but live for superficial “intercourse”, or fornication, spiritually, with this world, that is, spiritually fornicate withe Creation rather than marry the Creator, materialism.

    Consider a further support of these ideas: Solomon said in Scripture “all wickedness came before Abraham was.” So then, this would seem to imply that all lies of the fall and the practice thereof came before Abraham was. And that corroborates our theology above:

    The two greatest stages of sin before Abraham were the Wickedness of Noah’s day and the Tower of Babel.

    Noah’s day was clearly Anti-Baptism: The world was wicked (no repentance) and had no faith (they mocked Noah’s revelation of flood). So then God Baptized the world, the Flood.

    The Tower of Babel was clearly Anti-Marriage toward God: man was gathered together as one woman, but not a spouse to God, the People of God; rather, a whore, joining herself in selfish materialistic glory with the world, a tower, rather than seeking God’s glory and Him as the spouse. So God divided them up through language confounding and Married one nation, the Hebrews, His first Bride.

    How appropriate then, the two great first falls of man are against the basic principles of life, against the basic sacraments of all, and they were healed spiritually by the basic sacraments’ signs.

    Now, in light of this theology, consider this: in Apocalypse, Jesus, the Lamb, has seven horns, and the false prophet has two, “like a Lamb.”

    Now, firstly, couldn’t the seven horns of the Lamb be seen, at least in one layer of meaning, as the Sacraments, seeing as horns many times symbolize power in the Bible and that Jesus’ greatest power is in His grace, of which the seven Sacraments are the greatest source?

    But what, then, of the two horns of the false prophet that are “like a Lamb”? For this, we consider that Tertullian, per Blessed John Paul the II in his Theology of the Body, taught that the devil mocks or plagiarizes the Sacraments, twisting their signs evilly. For example, the devil mocks the Eucharist with gluttony and drunkenness. He mocked Baptism through Pilate, who instead of cleaning his head of bad faith and ill will, washed his hands of moral culpability of the ultimate sin of all, murdering the Son of God. In another example, the devil mocks Marriage with literal prostitution and fornication.

    In light of this, seeing as it says, again, in apocalypse 13 that the false prophet has two horns, “like a Lamb”, it very well may imply that the supreme “false prophecy” of the devil is the twisting of the principles of some two sacraments of Christ. But then, if so, which two might this spiritual false prophet mock in his two horns?

    Use common sense; what we have just seen: the basic sacraments, which are the basis of all goodness, and the only two sacraments left to the most separated of Christians, Baptism and Marriage! So that the mocking of the two bases of all goodness above is the basis of all evil, the lies of the fall. That is, what little base goodness is retained by heretics is mocked into the ultimate heresy !

    Whew!

    😀

  65. Scott Pauline says:

    The least useful meaning of apocalypse are preterism and futurism.

    The most useful and deep meanings are the way the Church looked at Apocalypse until Jesuits and liberals:

    Idealism
    Historicism (Spiritual ages)

  66. Bee bee says:

    Msgr. Pope, I am so glad you wrote this article, because no one in the Catholic Church talks about this much, and other Christian denominations are filling the airwaves with End Time predictions and misinformation along with lots of fear. I have wondered about the Catholic view of this topic, and have not found such a clear, concise explanation of what Catholicism teaches regarding this as you have posted briefly here. Being a member of the baby boom generation, I got part good solid teaching, but then mostly post Vatican II nonsense theology, and have never really had this topic addressed.

    God bless you for maintaining this blog, because it is such a service to those of us who are not getting this kind of clear teaching in our own diocese from our own bishops and priests. If we ever needed clear orthodox Catholic teaching it is now, and with the advent of the internet, the means to reach people across the world becomes possible. Thank you, and God bless.

    • Scott Pauline says:

      Well said, bee bee, thank you!

    • Barb says:

      Great article Msgr. Bee bee, I too received solid Catholic teaching before Vatican II. Our Lady of Fatima, revealed to the children that there would be an “evil council” that would lead many shepherds to fall away from the one TRUE faith, and that apostasy would happen at the TOP. We are in that era now. Freemasons have infiltrated our church and are in the hierarchy of our church today. They are not only in the Vatican but also in our dioceses across the globe. Our Lady warned that freemasonry is satanic and opposed to Christ’s church. She also requested that the secrets she gave the children be written down and given to the pope in 1960. That pope was the recently beatified Pope John XXIII. I actually remember when he was pope. They called him the “good pope”. This was also during the cold war with Russia, and the pope did not want to inflame tensions with a nuclear armed country by consecrating Russia to her Immaculate Heart in union with the bishops of the world. Amazing to me that a pope would be more worried about inflaming Russia than not obeying Our Lord and Savior’s mother! Remember, that what he saw in the letter included the apostasy in the hierarchy. Also amazing is that the succeeding popes also saw the letter and did not obey Our Lady’s request. That is why we are in the midst of the devil’s final battle against the church. Vatican II was when “the smoke of Satan entered the church”. Most Catholics do not know anything about revelations by the saints or by Our Lady. She gave us the remedy, however, with the brown scapular, the rosary and requests for sacrifices for poor sinners. St. Padre Pio said the rosary is “THE WEAPON”. Pray it devoutly every day for our clergy and pope (s). They are in much need of our prayers. There is much confusion out there among the faithful about our situation with two popes. Pray for guidance from our Blessed Mother. Hopefully, we will see the triumph of her Immaculate Heart soon! God bless!

  67. Scott Pauline says:

    About the mark of the beast, I tend to see idealistic allegory in the Mark as ANY form of religious persecution:

    The forehead covers the mind, which is the intellect of soul.

    It is with our HANDS that we do the WORKS of our hands, our will, good or evil.

    To give in and deny what our INTELLECT knows, to save our physical body, is to take the mark in our FOREHEAD, which is failing to bear witness to the truth.

    To give in and do something evil to save our buns is taking the mark in our hand, which is failing to remain true morally to God because of pressure.

    For example, to say to King Henry that he is the head of his own Church and deny Peter, is to take a mark in the forehead, rather than be executed.

    To deny the existence of God and disown oneself from the church when a communist threatens you with torture or exile, is to take the mark in the forehead.

    To assist in performing an abortion rather than lose your job, or marry a gay couple or make them a cake, is the mark in the hand.

    Repentance, of course, removes the mark, as apocalypse is using hyperbole by suggesting the mark is a one way street to hell. One can always receive the anointing of the sick. There is no true unforgivable sin before death.

  68. Pamela says:

    Thank you for this post Fr. Charles. There is so much happening in the world right now.

    Having grown up Protestant, I was taught the Holy Scriptures early on. Being a Catholic today, it saddens me to see so many Catholics without a clue as to the signs of the times. Many parrot what they have heard or give their own subjective opinions. St. Jerome said, “ignorance of Scripture, is ignorance of Christ”. I am grateful that our evangelical brothers are sounding the alarm and I hope more from the Catholic Church will begin to do the same. Frankly, I believe the anti-christ is already on stage, in a very prominent position today. Wars and the destablilization of the whole planet, economic woes, pestilences, the homosexual agenda rapidly moving, god-less technology, signs in the heavens and murder in men’s hearts is beyond anything I have ever seen in my lifetime.

    Fr. Charles you are right, there is a bad storm rising. And, I suggest Cathollics run to the Divine Word of God and words of Jesus in Mt 24, Lk 21, all the scriptures you mentioned above and Revealations. But, most of all,
    America needs to be upon her knees like Nineveh to plead and pray for the Mercy of God! There’s a very bad moon rising brothers and sisters, hurry and put on the whole armour of God, (Eph.6: 10-18). We are going to need it to stand against the firey darts of the wicked that is already moving across the face of the earth.

  69. PC says:

    Scott, your reflections about allegory and the mark ring true, however, the last few thoughts do not…please consider:

    There is no “hyperbole” in the Apocalypse of St. John.

    In the end times, as more and more people, of their own free will, choose evil from moment to moment, the world increasingly descends into darkness.

    We perceive reality through the heart, and as compromise is willingly accepted into the heart, the light of truth is obscured and delusion sets in.

    Those who accept the mark, of their own free will, accept what amounts to an inverse ‘baptism’ by Satan, during a period of history when demonic powers, due to lack of love in the world, are at their apex, making even minor weaknesses more difficult to overcome.

    The result for these people will be a form of possession, from which It will be very difficult to escape, as they will have no desire to be saved.

    Another hardship is that the true Sacraments will be difficult to find for many, as the true Church will have flown to the desert (gone underground).

    There is most certainly unforgivable sin:

    (Mark 3:29) “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never have forgiveness, but shall be guilty of an everlasting sin.”

    The mark is a very real identity stamp with grave spiritual consequences…if you have a choice, give up your physical life rather than accepting the mark.

    Even if you doubt the veracity of statements made by someone who claims to come in the name of God with a message to convey, never accuse or declare that the person is inspired by the wrong spirit.

  70. Bob says:

    The video basically said it all…all that was missing was the Deceiver-In-Chief and the Regime and politician’s in the District of Corruption. May God in His infinite mercy have mercy on this country. Although we don’t deserve it!

  71. Maria W says:

    I am so heartened to read the comments of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes it seems that our country and world is saturated with deluded people, ignorant of the great evil they do when they support abortion, same-sex marriage, assisted suicide, etc. I wonder if some of you might comment on the following: recently I have been driven to say the Divine Mercy chaplet for notorious people who have passed over quite a while ago who may have committed suicide or who did truly evil things. I tell myself that since there is no such thing as time for God, as we humans experience it on earth, that I can place myself at the person’s side while he or she is dying and say the chaplet for them. I have recently prayed it for Marilyn Murray O’Hare, her son and granddaughter who were murdered and dismembered a number of years ago. Do you agree that this practice might be of some benefit to those souls and might possibly save them for Christ?

  72. Emmett O'Regan says:

    Thank you for your clarity on this subject Msgr. You are one of the few high profile Catholic evangelists that are willing to talk about such issues. Personally, I would love to see you address the subject of the Millennium, around which there is so much confusion within some circles of Catholicism. During my time spent blogging on the subject of eschatology, I have encountered a rather large number of Catholics who hold to a view of the Millennium that can only be described as a form of “spiritual millenarianism”, wherein it is held that the “thousand years” is the era of peace foretold by Our Lady of Fatima, and that the Millennium is still to occur in the future, after the Second Coming of Christ. According to this overly literal, linear reading of the Apocalypse (which is heavily influenced by the modern premillennialist/dispensationist movement), after the defeat of an antichrist figure, Christ will establish a spiritual reign of peace for a thousand years, which is followed by the rebellion of Gog and Magog, and the rise of another antichrist type figure. As I’m sure you are well aware, this view is starkly at odds with the traditional Augustinian, amillennial view of eschatology, which holds that the Millennium began with the ministry of Christ, when the binding of the strong man/Satan allowed the Gospel to be spread unhindered (as Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers to the truth 2Cor 4:4). This “spiritual millenarian” movement within Catholicism erroneously teaches that the binding of Satan is yet to occur in the future, and during this Millennium, evil will cease to exist on earth. This is contrary to the Catechism:

    “Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover.” CCC 671

    “According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by “distress” and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church and ushers in the struggles of the last days.” CCC 672

    The spiritual millenarians seem to refuse to accept that amillennialism has been embraced by the Catholic Church since the 5th century (not to mention most mainstream Protestant denominations also), and attempt to side step the charge of millenarianism by arguing that this Millennial reign of Christ will be spiritual, rather than in the flesh. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the term millenarianism itself, equating it solely with chiliasm (the reign of Christ in the Flesh). Academics use the term millenarianism to describe any sect which promotes the idea of some sort of future utopia on earth, which can also refer to secular movements such as Nazism, etc. All forms of millenarianism are condemned by the Catechism as the deception of the Antichrist, who attempts to place man on the throne of the Creator:

    “The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.” CCC 676

    I recently had a booklet published by the Catholic Truth Society called “The End of the World: What Catholics Believe”, which attempted to offer a defense of the traditional Augustinian tradition. But there does not seem to be enough prominent Catholics like yourself who are raising their concerns about the influence of such teachings…
    The upshot of all this is: if the binding of Satan allowed the spread of the Gospel, and the “thousand year” period of this binding (which is really the age of the Church) began with the ministry of Christ, then Rev 20 tells us that towards the end of the world, Satan would once again be unbound, and thus once again be able to blind the minds of unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel for a “little while”. This ties into the “strong delusion” sent by God mentioned by St. Paul in your article above. The evidence suggests that we are living during the time of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Millennium. As I attempt to show in the link to the below article, the “little while” of Satan mentioned in Rev 20 is most likely to be equated with the 100 years of Satan’s greater power foreseen in the vision of Pope Leo XIII – meaning that the unbinding of the Devil took place at the beginning of the 20th century:

    http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/prophecy-of-pope-leo-xiii-update.html

  73. Jay says:

    Read “The Divine Mercy” by Blessed Faustina – Jesus I trust in you. Mercy is the greatest attribute of God.
    Those who grant mercy to others in the name of Jesus, they too shall obtain mercy form God.

  74. Anonimouse says:

    Kissinger declared on pbs the Charlie rose show that Obama has been selected as world president watch on YouTube

  75. Anonymous says:

    Read this out loud everyone. Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all soul’s to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy……. Very powerful!

  76. Terry says:

    Hello Father,
    While I don’t know whether this “time” is the end time, I’m certain a correction of biblical proportions is at hand. Please allow me to tell you my story using as few words as possible.

    My mom passed away at the break of dawn on a cloudy, gloomy morning in May 2011 after I had prayed for 15 hours by her bedside asking God to have mercy on her soul. About five minutes after her last breath my wife and I were looking out her hospital room window at the rushing clouds that had a ceiling of roughly 100ft., when a bright shaft of light shined on the parking lot pavement for a few brief seconds, as I watched the light go back up into a hole in the cloud I saw that the sky was still dark blue and to this day I believe I saw a faint star in the background. The sun had not yet risen above the horizon. My first consolation. One month later on the Feast of Corpus Christe, two new converts were being confirmed when I felt a very strange circular sensation boring into my breastbone, when this sensation pierced through my bone I immediately felt the most spectacular sense of peace and joy and for the next hour I enjoyed an indescribable love. I had received God’s Consolation and yet, this doesn’t even begin to tell my story.

    Mom reminded me that I used to tell her my dreams when I was little shortly before she passed away, I’ve had the gift of prophesy ever since I can remember. A couple years later on my first communion I felt a tiny tingle in my heart when The Body of our Lord was placed on my tongue and on that night and the next two nights I saw something flash through my mind, kind of like a movie that was fast forwarded and all I remembered was a blur of images. By the time I was 10 years old I’d had enough visions to know that I was destined to lead something(?) and that my middle name Leo (after my dad) meant a great deal. When I became a little older I became afraid and started running away from this person I was being asked by the Holy Spirit to be. For 25 years I tried to hide and Holy Spirit always found me.

    It is getting late and I don’t know if you will even read this. I would prefer to tell the rest of my story privately to you.

    May the Piece of Christ be with you,
    Terry

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