Are we in the “end times”? Live as if we are.

ORIENTEM CAR 01

Since the Lord Ascended to the right hand of the Father, Christians have felt themselves to be in the “end times”.  Indeed, we are in the “end times”.  The Lord achieved His victory. Now it is all over but for the waiting.

Of course it is a mystery that, even though Christ is Risen, we still have to pass through death and or the more apocalyptic aspects of the “end times”.  He’s the boss and we’ll do it His way, for love and with faith and hope.

That said, these days of ours feel strange and ominous.  There are “signs of the times”.  Especially this year there are “signs of the times”, which seem to be lining up this year in a way that hardly seems coincidental.

I read at Life Site that Raymond Card. Burke made an observation that “confusion, division, and error” within the Catholic Church coming from “shepherds” indicate that we “may be” in the end times.

It is hard to disagree.  However, Card. Burke offered some great points for how we ought to proceed on this supposition.

  • Pray for an increase of faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ “Who is alive for us in the Church and Who never fails to teach sanctify and guide us in the Church” and whose “teaching does not change.”
  • “Study more attentively the teachings of the faith contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and be prepared to defend those teachings against any falsehood which would erode the faith and thus the unity of the Church.” [More below.]
  • Gather together to “deepen their faith and to encourage one another.”
  • Go to the Blessed Virgin Mary…in order to seek her maternal intercession.
  • Invoke frequently throughout the day the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel
  • Pray daily to St. Joseph, especially under the title of “Terror of Demons” for the “peace of the Church, for her protection against all forms of confusion and division which are always the work of Satan.”
  • Pray for the Pope, especially through the intercession of St. Peter.
  • Pray for the Cardinals of the Church that they be of “true assistance to the Holy Father in exercising his office.”
  • “Remain serene because of our faith in Christ who will not permit the ‘gates of hell’ to prevail against his Church.”
  • “Safeguard especially our faith in the Petrine Office and our love for the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis.”

I want to add something that our pastors often neglect: our sacred liturgical worship must be revitalized and purified, Novus Ordo and TLM, across the board, East and West, everyone, everywhere (especially, however, with the modern rite in the Catholic Church).

Here is my manifesto from years ago.  Save The Liturgy – Save The World

[…]

Celebrate Mass well, participate properly – affect the whole world. Celebrate poorly – affect the whole world.

In each age since Christ’s Ascension, people have felt they were in the End Times. They were right. In any moment, when the conditions are right, the Lord could return.

Considering what is happening in the world now, I am pushed to think about the way Mass is being celebrated, even the number of Masses being celebrated. Once there were many communities of contemplatives, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament or in contemplation, in collective and in private prayer. There were many more Masses.

Many more people went to confession.

Who can know how they all lifted burdens from the world and turned large and small tides by their prayers to God for mercy and in reparation for sin?

We have a role to play in the “end times”.

The other aspect of this is that confusion is coming from our duly appointed shepherds.

What do we do about that?

At other times, I have suggested that you good readers out there start forming base communities of resistance against confusion.  Let’s call them:

Base Communities of Resistance Against Confusion.

Let’s have a

Permanent Revolution Against Confusion

Are your pastors causing confusion through strange or confused or errant teachings?  Are the telling only a part of the truth, in such a way that they mislead?

Get informed.

Form reading groups and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The start asking questions when we hear something wrong or strange or confusing.

Ask LOTS of questions.

 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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12 Responses to Are we in the “end times”? Live as if we are.

  1. Julia_Augusta says:

    I know people who are obsessed with the Book of Revelation and who spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the strange signs mean. However, since no one knows when our Lord will come, it’s better to spend our time praying everyday, especially the Rosary. We should go to Confession regularly, attend Mass, make a daily examination of conscience, start the day with prayer seeking guidance, ask our Lady for help and ask St. Michael Archangel to defend us against evil. There are so many distractions in one’s life! Let’s make it simple: prayer, Confession, Mass, Communion. Repeat.

  2. HeatherPA says:

    Our priest is leading a month long study group on the visions and message of Our Lady of Fatima.

    I am looking forward to this very much.

    We are very blessed with a holy priest. He brought in the St. Michael’s Missals & Lumen Christi Hymnals into our parish beginning at Advent this year, a very courageous act in our diocese.

    Pray for your priests and diocese bishops and also very importantly, to their guardian angels and the guardian angels of your dioceses (along with your own).

  3. majuscule says:

    I am blessed to have just completed reading through the Catechism with a parish group lead by a Rome-educated, very traditional priest. Well, we didn’t quite finish the last few pages because Father was leaving…but we read through the rest of it page by page with plenty of discussion. It took nearly four years of meeting an hour nearly every week.

    I think the key, though, is to have someone leading who is very knowledgeable without some sort of agenda–other than being true to the teachings of our faith.

    The members of the group formed a bond. Perhaps we can be a Base Community of Resistance Against Confusion in our parish. It’s too soon to tell…

  4. Scott W. says:

    Pray for the Pope, especially through the intercession of St. Peter<

    Yes. And to this I would add to ignore detraction, rash judgement, and calumny about him. John C. Wright is a well-known Catholic writer in sci-fi circles (check him out!) and he made this comment:

    “The first TEN or THIRTEEN times I heard some Leftist newpaper quoting the Pope allegedly saying some Leftist thing, I took the time and bother to look up the original, sometimes getting my Italian friend to translate for me.

    In EACH and EVERY case, without exception, the Pontiff had said something that was rock solid, traditional Christian teaching to which no honest Christian could object. He would say we have to care for the poor, and the Press would report this as him saying he favored socialized medicine. He would say men should be compassionate toward the stranger, the sojourner, and the needy, and the Press would report that as him saying Trump was wicked for building a wall on the southern border. He would say men must be stewards of the Earth and treat the creation given to us by God with respect, and the press would report that as him saying we have to save the whales and polar bears, and burn down factories to stop global warming.

    After the tenth or thirteenth time, I stopped double checking and stopped caring what the hell the press said about him. It is a lie. It is fake news. Don’t believe a single word you read about him in the press, and even take the punctuation as doubtful.

    Why the Press decided on a strategy of pretending Pope Francis is on their side (He is not — his support for the Little Sisters of the Poor in their struggle against Obamacare was simply not reported in the Press) instead of their previous strategy of pretending Pope Benedict was a Nazi, I cannot say.”

    .

  5. yatzer says:

    The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, but they sure have done a number on my family. Very sad, and I pray for my family every day; they have seriously gone off the Christian rails for the most part.

  6. Moro says:

    Whenever I hear end times I remember Matthew 24:13 – “Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.” I really don’t get people’s fixation with end times. I could die in two second or in 75 years or anywhere in between. The preparation for the end times or my death, expected or not should be the same.

    And as for base communities. Oh my, this is actually a thing among the Liberation Theology crowd. LOL. Check it out on wikipedia. I agree with the concept of a community grounded in adherence to true doctrine to help one another grow in holiness and defend the faith. It’s extremely helpful to those of us trying to fight the good fight but who seem defeated at every turn. But you might want to come up with another name that lacks the liberation theology baggage.

  7. Lamont says:

    Jesus stated that before his return “there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations bewildered by the roaring of sea and waves.” (Luke 21:25)

    While one might wonder about these other events, the idea that nations would be distressed and bewildered by the sea is something that would only happen if sea level rises enough to inundate coastal areas around the world. If cities are being destroyed one after the other, nation will be distressed by their shear inability to cope with such an unprecedented level of destruction. Until that happens, one should avoid speculating as to the significance of other events.

  8. ajf1984 says:

    The end times are a favorite topic of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who frequent my neighborhood…I usually catch them off-guard when I tell them that I believe–and my Church has always taught–that we’ve been living in the end times for about 2,000 years…this post, and the comments above that focus on living our lives as though the Final Judgment is right around the corner are spot-on. Not to live in a paralyzing fear of the unknown, but rather to conduct ourselves appropriately before God. Memento mori, after all…and as Fr. Z so often reminds us, Go To Confession!

  9. Vincent says:

    I think often there’s something about the end times which causes people to be afraid. I also think that when you look at Our Lady of Good Success, Fatima, and Akita, you can see a definite pattern emerging which demonstrates that we are living in the end times. I don’t believe I will see the end days proper, but my children (if I have any) may well.

    But let’s be clear – as Fr Z and Cardinal Burke are clearly saying, either whether we believe we’re at that point or not, we need to keep on going and need to intensify our spiritual lives. One of the visions of Fatima was of an angel saying “Penance”. Do we do enough penance?

    I certainly don’t. So while you’re reading this, please say a prayer for me, a sinner.

  10. clare joseph says:

    I checked the LifeSite article referred to here, and saw that, at the end, it gives a link to the full text of Cardinal Burke’s speech. I first read about this speech at Edward Pentin’s NCR blog, which lists these same “10 points”. The full text of the Cardinal’s speech is posted at the end of Pentin’s blog post. I read the full speech, and found that it gave a rather different impression than the excerpted version. It is worth reading His Eminence’s original remarks.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Speaking of the End Times and resisting confusion, Carl Olson put out a useful apologetics book a few years ago called “Will Catholics Be Left Behind?”

    Olson’s book is like the printed version of a tear gas grenade, scattering the Tim LaHaye-and-Hal Lindsey-style malcontents. Olson’s book is also like a tray of sedative-laced bananas, rendering unconscious many other rowdy EndTimes monkeyshines.

    It’s a fine book, just having some fun with vivid imagery.

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