Prophecy And Us
There is a beautiful and instructive article of Patrick Archbold on the Remnant about the purpose of prophecy in the life of a Christian. I suggest you follow the link and read it there.
I would also like to add a couple of reflections. Nothing new to my affectionate readers, but again repetita iuvant.
In the sixty or sixty-five generations of Christians which have preceded us, there has never been scarcity of those who predicted that the end is near. Every time of war, famine, drought, pestilence, or relaxation of customs (that is, basically: every time) has brought about a great number of believers in the Imminent End. Our time is no exception.
Most lose – or do not have – the historical perspective. The Great Plague and the Thirty Years War (just to mention the first two examples that came to my mind) brought suffering over great part of Europe sheer unimaginable to modern sensitivities, acutely suffering for the plight of the Panda. The world did not end then, and it did not end during WWI, or the French Revolution, or the Russian one.
Every age has its own challenges. Every age has its own way in which we are asked to remain faithful. Our generation has remained untouched by all-out war, pestilence, and famine, but it is marked by a level of godlessness and heresy even within the Church that is, indeed, a test of faith of its own kind. I suspect that the heresy within the church – and the abandonment of the sheep by their own shepherds – is about to bring an age of outright persecution: the wolves are now ready to attack an unprotected flock, even as the shepherds ask us to welcome the wolves instead of fighting against them.
It astonishes me when a man of low intellect like Francis; a lewd, hypocritical old man, stupid even in his way of being evil, is believed the False Prophet or even the Antichrist. Boy, they have set the bar low! Francis couldn’t deceive a thirteen years old boy who has reflected seriously about the faith. He does not look like the False Prophet – much less the Antichrist – to me.
The lesson I learn from the time we are living is this: nihil sub sole novi. Heretical Popes have plagues the Church before, and one is doing exactly that now. Persecutions have come and gone before, and the next one may be coming now. Challenges have come and gone, substituted by new ones. We live in our time, and we have our own mark of heresy, our own type of challenge, our own way to resist the devil and remain faithful.
We do not know when the world will end. The worry is largely academical as our own end can happen anytime anyway, and is vastly, vastly more probable that it will precede the end of the world. Therefore, I prefer to worry that when the world ends for me, I am prepared. Prophecies, and the way I put them in their own proper historical context, help me in that; but I do not going around saying to you what sixty-five generations of “world-enders” have said before, being wrong all of them.
Let your focus be your own end, instead of the world’s.
Methinks, it will profit you much more.