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?
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.