Friday, 10 February 2017

Pope Leo XIII and the Unbinding of Satan



St. Margaret Mary Alacoque adoring the Sacred Heart alongside Bl. Mary of the Divine Heart

With the upcoming celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in May 2017, there is a greatly renewed interest amongst many Catholics in a famous prophetic vision purportedly granted to Pope Leo XIII, in which he came to understand that Satan would soon be granted a period of greater power. According to a number of accounts stemming from highly reputable sources in the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII received this vision near the cusp of the 20th century - a century which saw war and genocide being unleashed on an unprecedented scale, bringing about a general increase of lawlessness which eventually led to the decline of the Catholic Church. The duration of this period of Satan’s greater power was generally understood to last for 100 years, an extent of time which many came to associate with the 20th century itself. However, the crux of this prophecy lies in the fact that the period of Satan’s greater power is only finite in nature, and as soon as it elapses, we should expect the amount of evil in the world to return to normal pre-20th century levels.

As the 21st century progressed, it became evident that there was no tangible sign of the decline of Satan’s increased power at the end of the 20th century. Instead, immorality continued to rapidly slide in tandem with the decreased influence of the Church. In fact, rather than seeing a reduction of evil since the end of the 20th century, many exorcists have reported a massive spike in demonic activity in recent years, leading to calls for the training of more diocesan exorcists in order to meet with the level of demand for exorcisms.

In order to explain this apparent discrepancy, while still upholding the validity of the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, many Catholics subsequently connected this 100-year period with the celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. So instead of beginning at the start of the 20th century itself, this period of Satan’s increased power is presumed to have been marked by the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, which directly coincided with the rise of Soviet Communism.

One of the major factors for this shift in the anchor point of this prophetic timeline lies in the fact that during an apparition of Christ to Sr. Lucia at Rianjo, Spain in 1931, Our Lord had compared the request to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the request given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque concerning the consecration of the France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – which similarly consisted of a time-frame involving a 100-year period.

Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My requests, they will follow him into misfortune. It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.

We can find yet another reference to the request given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words:

They did not wish to heed My request! Like the King of France they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors in the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was originally given this request on 17th June, 1689, and exactly 100 years later, after a series of French kings had refused to acknowledge this request, the Third Estate rose up against the Monarchy on 17th June, 1789, stripping King Louis XVI of his legislative powers, setting into motion the terrible events of the French Revolution. So the requests of consecration to the two hearts of Jesus and Mary appear to be intimately connected with a period extending over a 100-year time-span. The connection made between the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque has led many to conclude that the expiration of this 100-year period may be met with some form of terrible chastisement if no attention is paid to these requests, just as what happened with the King of France.

While the threat of chastisement always remains a possibility, the true significance of the end of the period of Satan’s greater power lies in the hope for the restoration of the Church, which can only happen once the grip of the Devil’s increased influence over world affairs is finally broken. It is this hope that was alluded to by Pope Benedict XVI while on pilgrimage to Fatima on 13th May, 2010:

We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

The above words of Pope Benedict XVI have been used to further bolster the idea that the significance of the centenary of Fatima in 2017 is in some way related to the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the end of the period of Satan’s increased power. The theme of the horrors of the 20th century is certainly prevalent in this homily, and there appears to be a possible allusion to the prophecy of Satan’s greater power when the Holy Father states that at this moment in history humanity had succeeded in “unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end…”

Throughout the course of this article, we will attempt to further draw out the thought of Pope Benedict XVI on the significance of the centenary of Fatima in 2017 in relation to the possible fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In addition, we shall also determine if this can shed any further light on the central hypothesis I forward in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church – namely that the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII should be directly identified with the unbinding of Satan foretold to take place at the end of the Millennium in the Apocalypse:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Rev 20:1-3)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. (Rev 20:7-8)

In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, I show how there are a remarkable number of widely varying considerations which all indicate that Pope Leo XIII’s vision of the period of Satan’s greater power is one and the same as the unbinding of Satan mentioned in the Apocalypse. According to the amillennialist eschatology of the Church Doctor, St. Augustine of Hippo, the binding of Satan took place during Christ’s death, His descent into Hades and His Glorious Resurrection from the dead. As the Catechism points out, Christ Himself had described this unique event as the “Sign of Jonah” – a phrase which is used in the immediate context of Christ’s discourse on the binding of Satan in the Gospels:

It is Jesus himself who on the last day will raise up those who have believed in him, who have eaten his body and drunk his blood. Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by restoring some of the dead to life, announcing thereby his own Resurrection, though it was to be of another order. He speaks of this unique event as the "sign of Jonah," the sign of the temple: he announces that he will be put to death but rise thereafter on the third day… (CCC 994)

The amillennialist interpretation of the Apocalypse provided the working basis for the historical development of several key doctrines of Catholic eschatology, such as the doctrine of purgatory and the dogma of the immediate resurrection of the soul after death during the particular judgment. In addition, it has also influenced the development of the Creed, the doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh at the Last Day and the Church’s teaching on the nature of the Kingdom of God.

According to St. Augustine, there were only two possible legitimate amillennialist interpretations of the Millennium:

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man — meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in various sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold, he says, on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,— that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed.

Now the thousand years may be understood in two ways, so far as occurs to me: either because these things happen in the sixth thousand of years or sixth millennium (the latter part of which is now passing), as if during the sixth day, which is to be followed by a Sabbath which has no evening, the endless rest of the saints, so that, speaking of a part under the name of the whole, he calls the last part of the millennium— the part, that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world— a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time
. (City of God XX:7)

While his first suggestion concerning the duration of the Millennium remains mostly forgotten, it actually has a considerable degree of merit in relation to the exact timing of the prophetic vision of Pope Leo XIII. Here, St. Augustine opines that the end of the “thousand years” mentioned in Rev 20 may be equated with the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers. This view was subsequently largely overlooked, since many of the Church Fathers held that the Sabbath Millennium would come to an end circa AD500, at the end of a six thousand year period after the biblical date of creation determined by the chronology of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament (the LXX). As the original various dates calculated for the end of the Sabbath Millennium circa AD500 came and went without any possible applications for this first interpretation, St. Augustine’s second proposal (that the thousand years symbolises an indefinite period extending from the time of Christ to the unbinding of Satan towards the end of the world), became the most widely accepted version of the amillennialist approach.

However, writing in the 8th century, the Church Doctor St. Bede the Venerable noted that the reckoning of the biblical chronology yields a vastly different result when using the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, differing by a period of around 1,500 years from the date of creation (Anno Mundi). St. Bede proposed that this version of biblical chronology, which he used to revise the date of creation to circa 3952BC, was the most accurate, since it was derived from the “Hebrew truth” of the original Jewish Bible, rather than its Greek counterpart. St. Bede’s method for determining the chronology of the Hebrew Bible was further refined by the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher, who working from the various genealogies given in the Bible, established the date of creation to 4004BC.

If we view the primary value of this date to be prophetic in nature (rather than providing us with a literal date for creation), this revised version of the biblical chronology has enormous implications for St. Augustine’s first suggestion concerning the meaning of the end of the “thousand years” in Rev 20 and how this ties into the patristic idea of a Sabbath Millennium. It puts the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the “thousand years” directly within the scope of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of the Devil being granted a time of greater power in order to test the Church.

Given the fact that St. Bede the Venerable was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the 20th century on Nov 13th, 1899, it invites us to ponder whether this action was linked in any way to this saint’s influence on the revision of the Anno Mundi calendar. The prophetic implications of Bede’s chronology cannot be overstated. Not only did it recalibrate the timing of the conclusion of the Sabbath Millennium to the modern era, but once combined with St. Augustine’s thesis presented above, it could also be used to indicate that the period of the unbinding of Satan would begin to unfold in the present age. Is it possible that Pope Leo XIII was aware of these implications? If we can find any evidence that the Holy Father had interpreted his famous vision within the context of the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the thousand years in Rev 20, we could conclude that his raising of St. Bede to the status of Church Doctor on the very eve of the 20th century was a deliberate action intended to reflect his influence on determining the prophetic significance of the Sabbath Millennium.

Thanks to the research of academics such as Kevin Symonds (the author of the excellent book Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael), we now be fully confident that the Holy Father did in fact experience this event, and that it was also accompanied by a vision which directly parallels the scene of the encirclement of the camp of the saints described in Rev 20. Symonds notes that in his Pastoral Letters for Lent, published in 1946, Cardinal Giovanni Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano related how the origins of the Prayer to St. Michael were explained to him by the private secretary of Pope Leo XIII, Msgr. Rinaldo Angeli:

It wasn’t for naught that the most wise Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII, whose superior intelligence and certainly not narrow-minded or small spirit, himself wrote that beautiful and powerful prayer, and then ordered its recitation by all priests after the celebration of the Holy Mass…

And that part of the prayer – “who prowl about the world” – has an historical explanation, which has been shared numerous times by the Holy Father’s most faithful Secretary, who was very close to him throughout most of his pontificate, Msgr. Rinaldo Angeli. Pope Leo XIII truly had a vision of demonic spirits, who were gathering on the Eternal City (Rome). From that experience – which he shared with the Prelate and certainly with others in confidentiality – comes the prayer which he wanted the whole Church to recite. This was the prayer which he recited (we heard this many times in the Vatican Basilica) with a strong, powerful voice, which resonated in an unforgettable way in the universal silence beneath the vaults of the most important temple of Christianity. Not only that, but he wrote a special exorcism, which is found in the Rituale Romanum (c.3, Tit.XI) with the title “Exorcismus in Satanam et angelos apostaticos”. The Pontiff recommended to the Bishops and Priests that these exorcisms be recited often in their Dioceses and in their parishes, by the priests who had received the proper faculties from their Ordinaries. However, to set a good example, he recited it himself frequently throughout the day. In fact, another Prelate familiar with the Pontiff used to tell us that even on his walks through the Vatican Gardens, he would take out a small book – worn with much use – from his pocket and repeated his exorcism with fervent piety and deep devotion.

(Cardinal Nasalli, cited in Symonds, K. Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael pp25-26)

This vision of demonic spirits converging upon the city of Rome is clearly intended to symbolise the encirclement of the camp of the saints by the forces of Satan at the end of the Millennium described in the Apocalypse:

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city... (Rev 20:7-9)

As St. Augustine elaborates, the camp of the saints represents the Church itself, which is beset by the forces of Satan during the period of his unbinding:

The words, And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints and the beloved city, do not mean that they have come, or shall come, to one place, as if the camp of the saints and the beloved city should be in some one place; for this camp is nothing else than the Church of Christ extending over the whole world. And consequently wherever the Church shall be—and it shall be in all nations, as is signified by the breadth of the earth,— there also shall be the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and there it shall be encompassed by the savage persecution of all its enemies... (City of God, XX:11)

Given how closely Pope Leo’s vision parallels this portion of the Apocalypse, it is entirely feasible that the Holy Father had also made this connection in light of his mystical experience, and related it to the encirclement of the camp of the saints at the end of the Millennium. The historical circumstances that the Church was facing at the time the Prayer to St. Michael was composed was indeed strongly evocative of the encirclement of the camp of the saints at the end of the thousand years. Ever since the Italian Army had reached the Aurelian Walls on 19th Sept 1870 (the feast of Our Lady of La Salette), placing the city of Rome under a state of siege, the forces of Satan (inspired by the principles of Freemasonry) had quite literally encircled the camp of the saints. So again, it is not entirely unreasonable that Pope Leo XIII would have interpreted the contemporary problems facing the Church in line with the scene described at the end of the thousand years in Rev 20.

Some of the primary figures involved in the Italian nationalist movement, such as Giuseppe Garibaldi, were prominent Freemasons, and within the Vatican hierarchy itself, it was widely believed that the annexation of the Papal States was part of a wider Masonic plot to destroy the Catholic Church. Pope Leo himself had vigorously condemned Freemasonry in his 1884 encyclical Humanum Genus, wherein he specifically compared the binary opposite entities of the Church and Freemasonry as the two cities described by St. Augustine - the City of God and the city of the Devil:

The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, "through the envy of the devil," separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God.
This twofold kingdom St. Augustine keenly discerned and described after the manner of two cities, contrary in their laws because striving for contrary objects; and with a subtle brevity he expressed the efficient cause of each in these words: "Two loves formed two cities: the love of self, reaching even to contempt of God, an earthly city; and the love of God, reaching to contempt of self, a heavenly one."(1) At every period of time each has been in conflict with the other, with a variety and multiplicity of weapons and of warfare, although not always with equal ardour and assault. At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of holy Church publicly and openly, and this with the set purpose of utterly despoiling the nations of Christendom, if it were possible, of the blessings obtained for us through Jesus Christ our Saviour
. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus)

According to St. Augustine himself, the two cities would only come into such open confrontation at the end of the thousand years, during the unbinding of Satan, when “Gog and Magog” set out to assemble the nations of the earth for war:

And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed from his prison, and shall go out to seduce the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and shall draw them to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. This then, is his purpose in seducing them, to draw them to this battle. For even before this he was wont to use as many and various seductions as he could continue. And the words he shall go out mean, he shall burst forth from lurking hatred into open persecution. For this persecution, occurring while the final judgment is imminent, shall be the last which shall be endured by the holy Church throughout the world, the whole city of Christ being assailed by the whole city of the devil, as each exists on earth. (City of God XX:11)

In my book, I attempt to show how the appearance of “Gog and Magog” at the end of the thousand years should be identified with the figures of the False Prophet and Antichrist, rather than being four separate eschatological antagonists who bookend the Millennium (as is proposed in the millennialist interpretations of the Apocalypse).

Given that Pope Leo XIII appears to have interpreted contemporary events in light of St. Augustine’s meditations on the final confrontation between the two opposing cities at the end of the Millennium, it would follow that he would have personally understood his prophetic vision to be related to the period of the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse.

We can find further evidence that the Holy Father made such a connection in the later 1890 “Exorcismus” prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII, which demonstrates that he had perceived that Satan had now “risen up terribly” during this particular moment in history. A phrase which is certainly highly suggestive of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the thousand years:

Behold the ancient enemy and murderer has risen up terribly! Transformed as an angel of light he goes about at large with a whole troop of wicked spirits and attacks the earth, there to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, and to steal souls destined for a crown of eternal glory, that he might afflict and destroy them in everlasting death.
(Pope Leo XIII “Exorcism against Satan and the Apostate Angels”, cited in Symonds, K Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael, p63)

This particular portion of the exorcism prayer was obviously directly influenced by the vision recounted to Cardinal Nasalli by Msgr. Angelli. Only now we are presented with the additional insight that Satan had “risen up terribly” against the Church. Given the fact that Pope Leo had most likely understood his prophetic vision as being explicitly related to the short time granted to Satan described in the Apocalypse, it is quite possible that his elevation of St. Bede to the status of Church Doctor on the very eve of the 20th century was an intentional act, aimed to highlight the prophetic importance of the patristic idea of the Sabbath Millennium. This would be doubly significant if he was aware of how St. Augustine had originally proposed that the unbinding of Satan would take place towards the end of the Sabbath Millennium, and how the significance of St. Bede’s recalibration of the Anno Mundi calendar reapplied the interpretation of this prophecy to the modern age.

It is surely beyond coincidence then that Pope Leo XIII chose to issue his encyclical Annum Sacrum announcing the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 25th May, 1899 – the feast day of St. Bede the Venerable. Given the fact that the Holy Father was preparing to proclaim St. Bede a Doctor of the Church just a few months later, it would seem that his choice of this saint’s feast day to announce the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was quite deliberate. If not, it was a striking coincidence that still augurs a level of prophetic significance. However, once we take into consideration that one of St. Bede’s most lasting contributions to Western culture was in the area of biblical chronology (indeed it was due to his influence that we use the Anno Domini calendar today), it is quite likely that this was an intentional act, since it accords with the central theme of his encyclical Annum Sacrum (which means “Holy Year”), pertaining to the significance of the turn of the century.

Pope Leo had called the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus “the greatest act of my pontificate”, and it appears that he viewed this solemn action as a way of providing a counterbalance to the grave perils that awaited the Church in the following century. As we have already seen, the 100-year period alluded to by Sr. Lucia was itself rooted in a request for a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, when Christ had appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. If Pope Leo had understood his vision to be related to a similar 100-year period, it is quite likely that his choice of the feast day of St. Bede for announcing the consecration of the world to the Sacred of Heart was yet another deliberate act, intended to nod towards St. Augustine’s teaching on the Sabbath Millennium.

Pope Leo XIII had performed the consecration of the world to the Sacred of Jesus in direct response to his correspondence with Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, who had received several apparitions of Our Lord while staying at the Covenant of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto, Portugal. During these apparitions, Christ had instructed Blessed Mary to send a letter to Pope Leo XIII to request the consecration of the entire world to His Sacred Heart, which was sent by her confessor on 10th June, 1898. Pope Leo was sceptical at first, and initially refused to pay heed to this request, apparently due to the theological difficulty presented by consecrating non-Christians. Undeterred, Blessed Mary sent the Holy Father a second letter, this time mentioning a serious illness the pope was suffering, and assured him that he would live to perform the consecration. The fact that Leo XIII was subsequently healed from his illness had a profound impact upon the pontiff, who made sure to include mention of it in his encyclical:

"There is one further reason that urges us to realize our design; We do not want it to pass by unnoticed. It is personal in nature but just as important: God the author of all Good has saved us by healing us recently from a dangerous disease."
(Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum, 25th May, 1899)

Pope Leo established a theological commission into the apparitions of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, and quickly set about preparing to meet Our Lord’s demands concerning the consecration. Blessed Mary died on the vigil of the Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 8th, 1899, at the age of 35, just three days before Pope Leo eventually carried out the consecration on June 11th.

We are left to ponder why the unbinding of Satan would occur at the beginning of the 20th century, rather than at the end of the Sabbath Millennium itself (circa 2000 according to Ussher’s chronology, or 2047 using St. Bede’s methodology)? According to St. Augustine, the period of the unbinding of Satan would occur at the very end of the “thousand years” during which Christ reigns with the saints, and should be included within this timeframe itself, rather than occurring immediately after it. St. Augustine pointed out that if the unbinding of Satan took place after the “thousand years” were over, this would suggest that Christ’s reign was finite in nature, and would effectively cease at the close of the Millennium during the appearance of “Gog and Magog”. We should take note here however that St. Augustine himself believed that the short time of Satan would only last for the duration of the reign of the Antichrist, for the vastly reduced period of three and a half years. He most likely would have baulked at the suggestion that the short time of Satan would in reality be substantially longer than three and half years, since he knew full well the dangers that would be presented to the Faith during this time.

Though this time is brief, yet not without reason is it questioned whether it is comprehended in the thousand years in which the devil is bound and the saints reign with Christ, or whether this little season should be added over and above to these years. For if we say that they are included in the thousand years, then the saints reign with Christ during a more protracted period than the devil is bound. For they shall reign with their King and Conqueror mightily even in that crowning persecution when the devil shall now be unbound and shall rage against them with all his might…

But assuredly the victorious souls of the glorious martyrs having overcome and finished all griefs and toils, and having laid down their mortal members, have reigned and do reign with Christ till the thousand years are finished, that they may afterwards reign with Him when they have received their immortal bodies. And therefore during these three years and a half the souls of those who were slain for His testimony, both those which formerly passed from the body and those which shall pass in that last persecution, shall reign with Him till the mortal world come to an end, and pass into that kingdom in which there shall be no death. And thus the reign of the saints with Christ shall last longer than the bonds and imprisonment of the devil, because they shall reign with their King the Son of God for these three years and a half during which the devil is no longer bound. It remains, therefore, that when we read that the priests of God and of Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years; and when the thousand years are finished, the devil shall be loosed from his imprisonment, that we understand either that the thousand years of the reign of the saints does not terminate, though the imprisonment of the devil does—so that both parties have their thousand years, that is, their complete time, yet each with a different actual duration approriate to itself, the kingdom of the saints being longer, the imprisonment of the devil shorter.
(City of God XX:13)


St. Augustine’s reckoning of the duration of the short time of Satan failed to take into account Christ’s words in the Olivet Discourse that before the appearance of the Antichrist there would be a succession of “wars and rumours of wars” leading to a departure from the Faith, after which the proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth would take place. It is only after the Gospel has been preached to the all nations during the renovation of the Church by the Two Witnesses that the Antichrist appears.

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
(Matt 24:3-16)

Once we take into consideration that the period of the unbinding of Satan would encompass all of the events described in the Olivet Discourse, rather than being confined to the reign of the Antichrist, a much longer period of time is required. This would thus explain why the unbinding of Satan would have taken place around 100 years before the proposed date for the Sabbath Millennium had transpired, rather than occurring after the “thousand years” had elapsed – since the period of Satan’s unbinding takes place within the Millennium itself – at its very climax.

In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, I attempt to show how the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Millennium recapitulates the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are sent out to gather the nations of the world for war. This means that it is all of the events described in the Apocalypse and Olivet Discourse that should be incorporated into the span of the short time of Satan, rather than just the time of the Antichrist.

With this combined evidence, it thus appears quite likely that Pope Leo had interpreted his prophetic vision in light of the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse. But what exactly occurs at the end of the short time of Satan? And should it be linked with the celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima later this year? There definitely appears to be some sort of sensus fidelium that has developed concerning the significance of this centenary year. Many Catholics are fearful that this year will bring some form of chastisement. While this is always possible, the words of Christ in the Olivet Discourse gives us the best sense of how this period will end.

Even though Jesus had warned the disciples that the love of many would grow cold due to the increase of lawlessness during this period, He also offered a sense of hope, in that the one who endured to the end would be saved, when the Gospel would be proclaimed to all nations before the end of the world. St. Augustine himself thought that the end of the period of the unbinding of Satan would see his powers to inhibit the spread of the Gospel once again restrained.

For in accordance with this true saying that order is observed— the strong one first bound, and then his goods spoiled; for the Church is so increased by the weak and strong from all nations far and near, that by its most robust faith in things divinely predicted and accomplished, it shall be able to spoil the goods of even the unbound devil. For as we must own that, when iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold, Matthew 24:12 and that those who have not been written in the book of life shall in large numbers yield to the severe and unprecedented persecutions and stratagems of the devil now loosed, so we cannot but think that not only those whom that time shall find sound in the faith, but also some who till then shall be without, shall become firm in the faith they have hitherto rejected and mighty to conquer the devil even though unbound, God's grace aiding them to understand the Scriptures, in which, among other things, there is foretold that very end which they themselves see to be arriving. And if this shall be so, his binding is to be spoken of as preceding, that there might follow a spoiling of him both bound and loosed; for it is of this it is said, Who shall enter into the house of the strong one to spoil his goods, unless he shall first have bound the strong one? (City of God XX:8)

For St. Augustine, the whole purpose of the binding of Satan by Christ during His Sacrifice on the Cross was in order to allow the spread of the Gospel:

The devil, then, is bound and shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the Church existed. For it is not said that he should not seduce any man, but that he should not seduce the nations— meaning, no doubt, those among which the Church exists— till the thousand years should be fulfilled,— i.e., either what remains of the sixth day which consists of a thousand years, or all the years which are to elapse till the end of the world…
Now the devil was thus bound not only when the Church began to be more and more widely extended among the nations beyond Judea, but is now and shall be bound till the end of the world, when he is to be loosed. Because even now men are, and doubtless to the end of the world shall be, converted to the faith from the unbelief in which he held them.
(City of God XX:7-8)

The fact that Satan appears to have now retrieved his ability to blind the minds of unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel, bringing about the decline of the influence of the Church, is perhaps the best witness to the possibility that we are currently enduring the period of Satan’s unbinding at the end of the world. When Pope Benedict XVI further clarified his now famous prayer concerning the year 2017 in an interview with Peter Seewald, he further emphasized that his hope was that forces of evil would once again be restrained at this time:

I said that the “triumph” will draw closer. This is equivalent in meaning to our praying for the coming of God’s Kingdom. This statement was not intended—I may be too rationalistic for that—to express any expectation on my part that there is going to be a huge turnaround and that history will suddenly take a totally different course. The point was rather that the power of evil is restrained again and again, that again and again the power of God himself is shown in the Mother’s power and keeps it alive.
The Church is always called upon to do what God asked of Abraham, which is to see to it that there are enough righteous men to repress evil and destruction. I understood my words as a prayer that the energies of the good might regain their vigor. So you could say the triumphs of God, the triumphs of Mary, are quiet, but they are real nonetheless. (Light of the World, pp165-166).

So while we may reasonably expect that the power of Satan will once again be restrained after the period of his unbinding, there will always remain a significant level of evil in the world, just as evil continued to exist after the Devil was defeated by Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary. As Pope Benedict XVI pointed out during his pilgrimage to Fatima in 2010: "The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world." Here, the Holy Father attempted to pre-empt against any millenarian misinterpretation of his words concerning the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by alluding to Christ's parable of the wheat and tares, which the Lord stated must exist side-by-side until the Last Judgement at the end of the world (Matt 13):

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (Matt 13:25-30)

The binding of Satan takes place to allow the spread of the Gospel, rather than to allow for the creation of a millenarian-style earthly utopia, as is advanced by certain fringe groups within Catholicism, spearheaded by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. As the Catechism states, the pilgrim Church on earth must suffer the travails of the present age until the end of the world:

"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. Until everything is subject to him, "until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God." (CCC 671)

While we can certainly hope that the Gospel will once again be effectively proclaimed to all nations to allow the restoration of the Church, the end of the world will immediately follow on from this event after the appearance of the Antichrist, as was affirmed by Christ in the Olivet Discourse. To distort the promises of Our Lady of Fatima into a future millenary “era of peace” is to venture into the heresy of millenarianism.

The Apocalypse tells us that towards the end of his period of power, the Devil is then thrown down to earth with a third of the angelic host, after being defeated in heaven by the Archangel Michael. Scripture informs us that this event is accompanied by the appearance of the Signs in Heaven. As I explain at some detail in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, all of these signs occurred at the turn of the millennium in order to mark the moment Satan is cast down to earth with his army of fallen angels. This event explains the incredible rise in demonic activity in recent years noted by several prominent Catholic exorcists. It also helps us to understand that the flood issued forth from the mouth of the Dragon in an attempt to sweep the Woman away is actually false prophecy issued through false demonic apparitions and manifestations described by St. Paul:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions. (2Cor 13:14)

The fact that the idea of a millenary “era of peace” on earth during a period of blissful harmony is a staple of these false apparitions leads us to conclude this flood poured forth from the Dragon is related to this false prophecy; and it is intended to prevent the Catholic faithful from fully understanding the truth contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. Instead, the Devil wants to present the faithful with the temptation of a millenarian utopia – an idea which the Catechism rejects as the deception of the Antichrist:

Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. 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 675-676)

But this flood will now soon be swallowed up by the earth, when the Woman Adorned with the Sun will finally be given the two wings of a great eagle (representing the Two Witnesses), to flee to a place in the wilderness:

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle to fly from the presence of the serpent to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent. But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth to swallow up the river that had poured from the dragon’s mouth. And the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 12:13-17)

124 comments:

Colin Cooper said...

Hello Emmett,

Thanks for the interesting read.

In the above, you suggest that expectations of an "era of peace" are millenarian in nature and actually inspired by Satan.

My understanding is that, doctrinally, the Church teaches that anticipation of a visible and personal advent of Jesus and a temporal kingdom are heretical but nothing more.


St. Louis de Montfort insisted that the kingdom of Jesus - when His will shall be done on earth as in heaven - will one day before the End of Time be manifested more perfectly "in the hearts" (TD 113) or "in our soul" (TD 68) of human beings, in such a manner thar Jesus will reign when, by the intervention of Mary, he is known, loved, and served by all people (TD 49).

Montfort's entire spirituality - which has been approved as doctrinally sound by the Church - has as its goal the establishment of the kingdom of Christ on earth in this way:


"‘When will that happy day come . . . when God’s Mother is enthroned in men’s hearts as Queen, subjecting them to the dominion of her great and princely Son?’" (TD 217).

He states that this shall be accomplished through the "apostles of the end times," two mighty saints:


"Toward the End of Time, God will raise up great men full of the Holy Spirit and imbued with the spirit of Mary, through whom this powerful Sovereign will work great wonders in the world, so as to destroy sin and to establish the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, her Son, upon the ruins of the kingdom of this corrupt world...

Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most saints… Such are the great men who are to come. By the will of God, Mary is to prepare them to extend his rule over the impious and unbelievers...

It was through the blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world...

These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness.

With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God...By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her...They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from his enemies...Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law...

Such are the great men who are to come. By the will of God Mary is to prepare them to extend his rule over the impious and unbelievers. But when and how will this come about? Only God knows. For our part we must yearn and wait for it in silence and in prayer: "I have waited and waited"...”

(Secret of Mary, 59 This End of Time is no other than the Second Coming of Christ. (SM 58) and True Devotion 58)

Colin Cooper said...

I believe that this relates to the concept of the "Social Reign of Christ" propagated by Pope Pius XI in his 1925 Encyclical, Quas Primas, which established the feast of Christ the King, where he stated:


http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi...as-primas.html


"Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men...

When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony...The result will be a stable peace and tranquility, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent...

Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.

If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth...

Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ!

“Then at length,” to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, “then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”


As you can see, Pius XI and St. Louis both believed that the "Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ" really would be established in men's hearts and souls throughout the entire world by the intercession of His Most Blessed Mother and that this would lead to, as Pope Pius notes: "that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth...for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished."

??????

Colin Cooper said...

My third point.

You refer to the interview with Peter Seewald and then Cardinal Ratzinger, our Pope Emeritus.

There is a section of that interview I would like to draw your attention too:


"...Interviewer:

John Paul II in his talk before the United Nations in New York in 1995 on the foundations of a new world order, also spoke of a new hope for the Third Millenium. "We shall see," said the Pope, "that the tears of this century have prepared the ground for a new springtime of the human spirit". What might he mean by this "springtime"? A new identity of man?

Pope Benedict XVI:

The Pope does indeed cherish a great expectation that the millenium of divisions will be followed by a millenium of unifications...

It is thus filled with the hope that the millenia have their physiognomy; that all the catastrophes of our century, as the Pope says, will be caught up at the end and turned into a new beginning. Unity of mankind, unity of religions, unity of Christians - we ought to search for these unities again, so that a more positive epoch may really begin. We must have visions. This is a vision that inspires us and that challenges us to move in that direction. The Pope's untiring activity comes precisely from his visionary power. Whether the vision is actually fulfilled is something we naturally have to leave entirely in God's hands..."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Salt of the Earth (1997 when still Cardinal Ratzinger, republished in 2005 as by the pope)


So in other words, Pope St. John Paul II shared the same "vision" as Pope Pius XI - of a more positive epoch defined by the Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.

Would you say that this vision of the Holy Father us millenarian?

He stated many times that humanity would move towards a "civilization of love" at some point during the third millennium.

A "civilization". Always an interesting choice of words to me.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Colin!
No, JPII was most certainly not millenarian in his hope of a "new springtime" for the Church. This is the Second Pentecost, which is a different concept entirely, and related to the evangelisation of all peoples before the end of the world.

Colin Cooper said...

Hi Emmett,

Thanks for the reply!

I see - but St. Louis de Montfort and Pope Pius XI both infer, quite explicitly, that the expansion of the "Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ" (i.e. the Mystical Body of the Saviour on earth, the Church) over all peoples would lead to

"that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth...for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished."

And how, indeed, could it not have a pacifying effect on human society worldwide?

The logic is quite clear to me. If more people sincerely adhere to the "Peace of Christ" in their lives, this then has inevitable ramifications for the social order.

I can't understand how you can have mass evangelization and springtime for the Church without the corresponding positive implications of this for wider society, as St. Louis and Pope Pius XI note.

To me, the two are symbiotic of one another.

Thanks!

Colin Cooper said...

If I can reiterate - although not to labour it! - the argument presented by Pope Pius XI in Quas Primas with regards to the Social Kingship of Jesus:


"...When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony...The result will be a stable peace and tranquility, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent..."


Poland has become the first nation to do this.

Pius XI argues that if every society ultimately follows suit - embracing the Peace of Christ by accepting Him as King of our wills, hearts, souls and also in public life - then the result will be a great and unprecedented boon for society.

The Second Pentecost thus results in peaceful interaction between people's worldwide - the "unity of mankind" that Benedict XVI said in my aforementioned quotation Pope JPII anticipated arise as part of his great "springtime".

For it is not only a Springtime for the Church but also one for the whole world through the Church, hence why he actually called it a Springtime of the "human spirit" - that's why Benedict says "unity of mankind, unity of religions, unity of Christians":

https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/audiences/2001/documents/hf_jp-ii_aud_20010124.html


JOHN PAUL II

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Wednesday 24 January 2001



A future more worthy of the human person

1. If we cast a glance at the world and its history, at first sight the banner of war, violence, oppression, injustice and moral decay seems to predominate. It seems, as in the vision of chapter 6 of Revelation, that horsemen are riding through the barren lands of the earth, bearing now the crown of victorious power, now the sword of violence, now the scales of poverty and famine, now death's sharp sickle (cf. Rv 6: 1-8)...


To restore hope is a fundamental task of the Church. In this regard, the Second Vatican Council has left us this illuminating comment: "We can justly consider that the future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with reasons for living and hoping" (Gaudium et spes, n. 31). In this perspective, I would like to suggest to you once again the appeal to trust which I addressed to the United Nations Organization in 1995: "We must not be afraid of the future.... We have within us the capacities for wisdom and virtue. With these gifts, and with the help of God's grace, we can build in the next century and the next millennium a civilization worthy of the human person, a true culture of freedom. We can and must do so! And in doing so, we shall see that the tears of this century have prepared the ground for a new springtime of the human spirit" (Insegnamenti XVIII/2 [1995], p. 744)..."


This was an address to the UN - not to Bishops of the church - where he predicted that at some point during the Third Millenium "a civilization worthy of the human person...a new spring time of the human spirit".




Emmett O'Regan said...

"Since the beginning of my Pontificate, I invited the universal Church to turn her gaze to the advent of the third millennium, imminent; I also had the opportunity to point out that this is not "to indulge in a new millenarianism" (Tertio millennio adveniente, n. 23), with the temptation to predict substantial changes in it in the life of society as a whole and of every individual. Human life will continue, people will continue to learn about successes and failures, moments of glory and stages of decay, and Christ our Lord always will, until the end of time, be the only source of salvation". Pope John Paul II, Ad limina to Brazilian bishops, 29 January, 1996

Colin Cooper said...

Good quotation!

But he is clearly warning against a naive utopianism here - the excessively idealistic belief in a terrestrial paradise where you essentially have the eschatological expectation of salvation discovered within the confines of history. This is obviously heresy. Our ultimate happiness is the Beatific Vision - you and I know that!

The two statements we provided are reciprocal - one does not nullify the other, they rather serve to clarify each other.

On the one hand, the "New Evangelization" will enable the construction of "a civilization worthy of the human person, a springtime of the human spirit" but our capacity for sin and failure remains.

I'm not expecting sinless utopia and nor was Pope Pius XI. What he did anticipate was "a stable peace and tranquility" in international affairs emanating from an enhanced awareness of "the link that binds humanity together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished."

I suggest that we strive to find common ground between our respective standpoints rather than suggest to others that the Holy Father had a split personality. Clearly, he had a well articulated understanding of this that was highly nuanced.

To hope for a "better" world that advances upon what we have now is not the same as dreaming of a "perfect world".

JPII believed that our century would lead to a civilization and culture "better" than what had come before and so in comparison to the preceding winter it will appear like a "springtime" - but it is not a perfect world in which man is deprived of the freedom to choose.

JPII's point is that human nature will remain the same - with Christ as our salvation, not an earthly paradise

Colin Cooper said...

If I might add a few more quotations from Pope Pius XI on this theme:


http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_23121922_ubi-arcano-dei-consilio.html


UBI ARCANO DEI CONSILIO


ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI
ON THE PEACE OF CHRIST IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST

1922


"...there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace...

We pray most fervently, and ask others likewise to pray for this much-desired pacification of society..."


https://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P11STUDI.HTM


STUDIORUM DUCEM (On St. Thomas Aquinas)
Pope Pius XI


Encyclical promulgated on 29 June 1923


"...He also composed a substantial moral theology, capable of directing all human acts in accordance with the supernatural last end of man. And as he is, as We have said, the perfect theologian, so he gives infallible rules and precepts of life not only for individuals, but also for civil and domestic society which is the object also of moral science, both economic and politic.

Hence those superb chapters in the second part of the Summa Theologica on paternal or domestic government, the lawful power of the State or the nation, natural and international law, peace and war, justice and property, laws and the obedience they command, the duty of helping individual citizens in their need and co-operating with all to secure the prosperity of the State, both in the natural and the supernatural order.

If these precepts were religiously and inviolably observed in private life and public affairs, and in the duties of mutual obligation between nations, nothing else would be required to secure mankind that "peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ" which the world so ardently longs for.

It is therefore to be wished that the teachings of Aquinas, more particularly his exposition of international law and the laws governing the mutual relations of peoples, became more and more studied, for it contains the foundations of a genuine "League of Nations."..."


It's quite clear that Pope Pius XI envisaged during his Magisterium the Church playing a critical role in what he called "the pacification of society" by means of greatly enhanced evangelism and a resurrection of Christian morals in private and public life, that would result in a "genuine League of Nations" when the Kingship of Christ was eventually recognised by all.

As I said, for me "springtime of the Church" and "springtime of the human spirit" are symbiotic. The one leads naturally to the other.

Colin Cooper said...

If I can explain a little more my meaning, consider this from the Vatican II constitution Gaudium et Spes:


http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html


"...Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder, and actualized by men as they thirst after ever greater justice. The common good of humanity finds its ultimate meaning in the eternal law. But since the concrete demands of this common good are constantly changing as time goes on, peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly. Moreover, since the human will is unsteady and wounded by sin, the achievement of peace requires a constant mastering of passions and the vigilance of lawful authority..."


That's an important point and I think it is part of what JPII was intimidating in your quotation. Peace on earth will "never be attained once and for all". If someone claims this, then I agree - its heretical. The struggle against sin and human foibles will never cease before the end of time. For as long as their is history, it will be a history of continual striving against evil, the definitive completion of which will be in the next world, not in this one.

But one is wrong to think that this means human civilization cannot "improve" and become more aligned to the will of the Almighty. That has always been in our power to do. That's not a radical break in history, its a potential we have always had as a collective if we simply embrace the Kingship of Christ. We can never improve "definitively" but we can improve in relation to what has come before.

Millenarianism posits an end to the "struggle," as such it posits an end to history within history - which is a nonsense. History can only end beyond history in the Eschaton.


But the Church proclaim a different possibility:


"...That earthly peace which arises from love of neighbor symbolizes and results from the peace of Christ which radiates from God the Father...

Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ.

But insofar as men vanquish sin by a union of love, they will vanquish violence as well and make these words come true: "They shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4)...

It is our clear duty, therefore, to strain every muscle in working for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all and endowed with the power to safeguard on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights. But before this hoped for authority can be set up..."


Consider closely what the Council Fathers were saying above.

Thanks!


Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks Colin!
You are obviously an intelligent fellow indeed! Yes, of course there is room for common ground! I do believe that we will have a "period of peace", as promised by Our Lady of Fatima, and the Gospel will be brought to the ends of the earth. But it will be extremely short, and freewill will not be reduced in any aspect. I'll attempt to address your excellent points later, when I have more time.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Our viewpoints are actually virtually identical Colin.

Colin Cooper said...

Thanks Emmett!

I think I may have misinterpreted you as arguing that there will not be a period of peace before the final persecution and Second Coming, which confused me since it is one of the most consistent refrains of the Magisterium since Leo XIII and also one of the overriding themes of approved private revelations.

With the exception of a minor tribulation and a final persecution of Anticrist, I'd go as far as to say that its one of the most consistent predictions.

But I see that this is not the case - its the erroneous millennium idea that you are speaking of in which human nature is expected to be radically changed in some way - almost like transhumanism, the ultimate deception - in a manner that suggests our freedom to sin is removed and our society finds the perfect, definitive answer to all of its problems - as Communism aspires to do, providing the "definitive" model of human society. No -there are no definitives this side of the Eschaton.

I completely agree that this is heresy. Even during the period of peace we will still have the threat of war hanging over us even after it has been abolished legally and politically since the selfish, inordinate passions leading to war will st I be rude within us and we will still have to fight against these both individually and corporately as a society.

But the Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ is not the same and I would suggest that this magisterial teaching - which anticipates universal evangelization, the recognition of Christ as King by all nations in private and public life and the abolition of war as a means of resolving conflict in international relations by the creation of a "world political authority" (a dominant refrain in the Social Doctrine of the Church since Pius XII) - I suggest that we see this teaching of the Popes as being the same as the prophesied "era of peace".

It won't be a millennial utopia, but it will be to quote Pius XI, a time where:


"...Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.

If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth...

Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ!..."


So it will be better than what's come before, but only because the Gospel has finally spread to all nations and the Kingship of Christ has been universally embraced.

Not because we've found perfection in our nature and societal model.

Colin Cooper said...

I'd also like to bring this document to your attention, published by the Vatican under the pontificate of Benedict XVI in 2011:


PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE

TOWARDS REFORMING
THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AND MONETARY SYSTEMS
IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL PUBLIC AUTHORITY


It can be found on the Vatican website. In it we find the following:


"...On the way to building a more fraternal and just human family and, even prior to that, a new humanism open to transcendence, Blessed John XXIII’s teaching seems especially timely. In the prophetic Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris of 1963, he observed that the world was heading towards ever greater unification. He then acknowledged the lack of correspondence in the human community between political organization “on a world level and the objective needs of the universal common good”(11). He also expressed the hope that one day “a true world political authority”(12) would be created...Consistent with the spirit of Pacem in Terris, Benedict XVI himself expressed the need to create a world political authority...

It is the task of today’s generation to recognize and consciously to accept these new world dynamics for the achievement of a universal common good. Of course, this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world Authority and to regional Authorities...

The birth of a new society and the building of new institutions with a universal vocation and competence are a prerogative and a duty for everyone, without distinction. What is at stake is the common good of humanity and the future itself.

In this context, for every Christian there is a special call of the Spirit to become committed decisively and generously so that the many dynamics under way will be channelled towards prospects of fraternity and the common good...

In a world on its way to rapid globalization, orientation towards a world Authority becomes the only horizon compatible with the new realities of our time and the needs of humankind. However, it should not be forgotten that this development, given wounded human nature, will not come about without anguish and suffering...

The spirit of Babel is the antithesis of the Spirit of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12), of God’s design for the whole of humanity: that is, unity in truth. Only a spirit of concord that rises above divisions and conflicts will allow humanity to be authentically one family and to conceive of a new world with the creation of a world public Authority at the service of the common good..."


Note how this Vatican document relates the formation of a universal public authority - Pius XI's "genuine League of Nations" that the dissemination of St. Thomas Aquinas' natural law teaching and the Peace of Christ in His Kingdom will bring about - is explicitly related to the "spirit of Pentecost".

Colin Cooper said...

This same "universal public authority" has been called for by every Pope of the 20th and 21st centuries and ad I have shown you Vatican II as well. It will abolish war by international consent and be created according to Catholic Social principles.

Venerable Pope Pius XII in 1944:


http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12XMAS.HTM


"...Democracy and a Lasting Peace

1944 Christmas Message of His Holiness Pope Pius XII

NATURE AND CONDITIONS OF AN EFFECTIVE PEACE SETTLEMENT UNITY OF MANKIND AND SOCIETY OF PEOPLES

53. But how far will the representatives and pioneers of democracy be inspired in their deliberations by the conviction that the absolute order of beings and purposes, of which We have repeatedly spoken, comprises also, as a moral necessity and the crowning of social development, the unity of mankind and of the family of peoples?

54. On the recognition of this principle hangs the future of the peace. No world reform, no peace guarantee can abstract from it without being weakened and without being untrue to itself.

If, on the other hand, this same moral necessity were to find its realization in a society of peoples which succeeded in eliminating the structural defects and shortcomings of former systems, then the majesty of that order would regulate and inspire equally the deliberations of that society and the use of its instruments of sanction.

56. For this reason, too, one understands why the authority of such a society must be real and effective over the member states...

FORMATION OF A COMMON MEANS TO MAINTAIN PEACE

...An essential point in any future international arrangement would be the formation of an organ for the maintenance of peace, of an organ invested by common consent with supreme power to whose office it would also pertain to smother in its germinal state any threat of isolated or collective aggression..."

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks for your contribution here Colin! Nice work!

Anonymous said...

Great analysis, Emmett. This may be your most important work thus far.

Anonymous said...

The Church Fathers and the Holy Fathers have told us what the era of peace is not, not what it is. Much of it remains a mystery.

Colin, I find it strange how Emmett so easily brushes off those quotes you provided from various Holy Fathers, quotes which demonstrate that the era of peace will involve real, temporal, material peace. In fact, peace within individuals, between individuals and between the nations is possible at every moment in history. It is Sin which prevents it. If the entire world was living in a state of grace at the moment (which is entirely possible) the world would be a very different place. It is Freemasonry which would have you believe that true Peace between the nations is impossible. Emmett makes many good points in this article, but his mistake is a mistake he makes time and time again in his writings: he conflates the era of peace with the heresy of millenarianism all while pretending not to.

Anonymous said...

So, the big question becomes: what will be the impetus for this sudden change in 2017 leading to an era of peace?

The only answer I can come up with is that it will have to involve a public supernatural intervention comparable to the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Right now, I can think of only two prophesied events - one approved and one unapproved - that fit the bill:

1. Our Lord's prophesy to Saint Faustina that a Great Cross would appear in the sky before the day of Justice.

2. The prophesy made at Garabandal regarding a "Warning."

Of the two, I would put my money on the first scenario as it is also found in Sacred Scripture in the Olivet Discourse, which I believe Emmett correctly linked to the wars of the 20th Century. I also believe Pope Pius IX was referring to this coming heavenly sign when he wrote that "there will come a great prodigy, which will fill the world with awe..."

Humanity, faced with such an awesome public miracle as the Sign of the Son of Man appearing in the sky, will convert in large numbers. But the stage will also have been set for the Antichrist as after this great public Miracle of the Sign of the Son of Man there will no longer be room for doubt and lukewarmness: one will either serve Christ or serve the Antichrist.

Colin Cooper said...

Hello Annonymous,

Thank you for your post!

My understanding is that Emmett does believe - as private revelation and the Papal Magisterium since Leo XIII has affirmed - that there will be an era of "real, temporal, material peace" established in the world in the aftermath of the Second Pentecost.

I think - although I encourage him to correct me if wrong - that he is trying his hardest to faithfully distinguish this perfectly orthodox and pious anticipation of the "Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ" from heretical millenarian visions that posit a sinless utopia in which humans effective transcend their wounded natures this side of the eschaton and discover a definitive model of society that satisfies their longing for ultimate happiness and meaning - an ultimate happiness that in fact can only be found in the afterlife, with the Beatific Vision.

This latter idea is what millenarianism essentially amounts to, whether it takes the form of a personal advent of Jesus on earth or a more spiritualised character.

As you correctly note, the "era of peace" is not the same as this. Indeed we could have enjoyed an era of peace ever since Christ's Resurrection and might have done so had the Western Roman Empire not collapsed. This has always been possible for us, if we would simply co-operate with God's grace and adhere to the dictates of his divine plan revealed to our consciences through the natural law.

This is what Pope Ven. Pius XII explained in his 1951 Christmas address, which you can read in full here:


https://archive.org/stream/1951christmasmespius#page/10/mode/1up


"...The Society of States


The common good, the essential purpose of every State, cannot be attained or even imagined without an intrinsic relation of the States to the human race as a whole. Under this aspect the indissoluble Union of States is demanded by nature. It is a fact that is imposed upon them. And in consent to it, although sometimes hesitantly, they answer he voice of nature. This natural union they strive to embody in an external stable framework, an organization.

As human experience teaches them, the State and the Society of States with its external organization, in spite of all their defects, are naturally, given the social nature of man, forms of union and order among men; they are necessary for human life...Their concept involves the tranquility of order, that 'tranquillitas ordinis' which St. Augustine gives as a definition of peace. These societies of their very essence exist for peace.

With them, as societies which exist for maintaining peace, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace - and with Him the Church in whom He continues to live - has entered into a new and intimate relationship which elevates and strengthens society. This is the basis for the singular contribution that the Church makes to the cause of peace...

And how will this come about, except through the continuous enlightening and strengthening action of the Grace of Christ on the minds and hearts of citizens and statesmen, so that in all human relations they recognize and pursue the purposes of the Creator, that they strive to enlist the collaboration of individuals and nations for effecting these purposes, that within as well as among nations they practise social justice a and charity?

If men, obeying the Divine Will, will use that sure way of salvation, a perfect Christian order in the world, they will soon see the possibility of even a just war practically disappear. For there will be no reason for such a war, once the activity of the Society of States, as a genuine organization for peace, has been made secure. What we have said shows clearly our thought in this regard..."

Colin Cooper said...

So war will literally, in a material sense and not figuratively, be "abolished by international consent" as Vatican II stated in Gaudium et Spes, when that "universal public authority" which comes into existence courtesy of the "spirit of Pentecost" has been created. It won't be a utopia, although I think that the temptation will inevitably arise for many people during the Era of Peace to think it is a utopia - and this mistaken belief will lead, in time, to its degradation and the coming of the final persecution of Antichrist.

Every Pope since Leo XIII has consistently preached the same message. In fact, I have found documents under the Pontificate of Pius XI that say the same.

Right now, the world is in such a sorry state - as it has been for millennia - that when people die, you often hear the phrase used "he/she has gone to a better place".

During the Peace, the temptation will arise - once it has become habitual - for people to think that this world is the "better place" and that we should try to stay in it permanently rather than find our true meaning in transcendence and in the resurrection. And so, the Era of Peace is described by Pius XI as a "solemn hour" - it is at once the fulfilment of Christian ideals in human relations and a temptation towards our ultimate destruction as a species once the original Catholic ethical foundations of the Peace have stagnated.

It isn't some millennial epoch to have been expected in a future "age of the Holy Spirit" like Joachim of Fiore thought.

The private revelations and Holy Fathers simply indicate that, beginning in our century, we will finally achieve this - not that we couldn't have done so already.

Colin Cooper said...


As to when it will come, I do not expect the Peace in 2017. The evangelization comes first followed by countries embracing the example of Poland by recognising Christ as King.

I would argue that we have a long time to go yet.

Consider, to this end, what Pope St. John Paul II stated in his encyclical on the Millenium, Tertio Millenio Adveniente in 1994:


"... The future of the world and the Church belongs to the younger generation, to those who, born in this century, will reach maturity in the next, the first century of the new millennium. Christ expects great things...If they succeed in following the road which he points out to them, they will have the joy of making their own contribution to his presence in the next century and in the centuries to come, until the end of time: "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and for ever"..."


Notice the operative wording "in the next century and in the centuries to come".

Unlike Emmett, I am not unilaterally wedded to the idea that the era of peace will last for a single generation. It may be that short but it also may not.

The Magisterium is silent on this point. Even a century or two is a pittance in the eyes of God when you think that He is outside time in eternity and that the universe is billions of years old. So a few centuries or more even would be short from the perspective of eternity but long enough for a "civilization" to develop along the lines predicted by the Popes. The average civilization lasts between 300-600 years.

Consider that the document I quoted above indicates that the Society of Nations or "universal public authority" that will abolish war shall be set up gradual as nation states cede power to it.

Well, it hasn't even been created yet! The time needed to evangelize the entire world, have nations recognize Christ as King everywhere and set up a "universal authority" to abolish war....I expect it won't just happen overnight, even with a miracle.

If the Peace lasts for a single generation, then it will not arise in our lifetimes since the End of Time would therefore come in our century. There will be "centuries" of history beyond the 21st according to JPII and other Pontiffs.

If it lasts longer, then it could. JPII did seem to state that this present century would witness the start of the "springtime".

It seems to me that the Springtime will take a while to develop. But as Poland has demonstrated, we do seem to be in the "infant" stage of this transition.

Colin Cooper said...

I do concur with Emmett, however, in regarding 1917-2017 as - by all probabilities - the century of tribulation that Leo XIII had foreseen. Quite what the providential significance of this if so - and I don't think we can be absolutely certain that this was the hundred years foreseen by Leo - is not entirely clear to me.

1917 is a critical year not simply for the emergence of atheistic Communism and other anti-Christian ideologies, but also to the extent that it witnessed the final destruction of the "imperial order" - the rule of empires in Europe, and by extension the world, that had persisted since ancient Rome and the medieval Holy Roman Empire.

This order, although deeply flawed, had been based upon an essentially Christian framework. The order of nation-states - first arising in 1648 from the Treaty of Westphalia and reaching its ultimate shape in 1917 with the collapse of the continental empires - was not prefixed upon such a framework.

As Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist. a priest of the Cistercian Abbey of Heilgenkreu, noted recently over on the "Josias" and "sancrucencis" theology websites:


"...Christendom was ideally a universal community in which all the baptized were considered friends and fellow-citizens of the City of God, and only Muslims and Jews were considered foreigners. The whole of Christendom was united by the authority of Pope, who entrusted the temporal sword to the emperor. But that order was subsidiary with many common goods pursued at the lower levels of kingdoms, duchies, counties, abbeys, towns, villages etc...

It began to break down at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. The conflict between King Philip the Fair of France and Pope Boniface VIII was in part a conflict between the old ideal of Christendom and the emerging strong territorial monarchies...

Thus began the development of the modern nation-state, whose severance from the ideal of Christendom was solidified in the 17th century at the Peace of Westphalia. The nation state combines the worst features of political and imperial communities. It lacks the advantages of a small community founded in friendship and mutual trust among citizens actually living a common life, but preserves the communal egoism and hatred of outsiders typical of such small communities. It lacks the capaciousness and ability to unite many nations typical of ancient empires, but has all of their militarism and libido dominandi...

The ever more idolatrous political theologies and ever more internecine wars of self-sacrifice with which nation states have tried to bolster their internal solidarity culminated in the horrific slaughter of World War I and World War II...

The nation-state does not mean heroic unity in the face of foreign invasion, but World War I: the destruction of the supranational Danube ­Empire and the creation by violence and forced emigration of homogenous nation-states. […] For Dante, it was precisely the inability of Christendom to unify under a single emperor, Ottoman-style, that was its downfall. Nothing illustrates the failure of the loose federal Christendom model better than its inability to unite against the external threat of the sultan’s armies...

As the example of Dante shows, Medieval Christendom all the way to the end was inspired by the imperial ideal of a universal temporal order. Virgil can be said to be the “father of Europe,” partly because of his imperial ideal was subsidiarist ideal that left room for local piety. And the Roman Church— from Pope Gelasius’s Famuli vestrae pietatis to Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’— has never given up the ideal of a universal temporal power, corresponding in some way to her universal spiritual power.

The ideal was, however, never fully realized, and was made almost impossible by the forces that brought the Middle Ages to an end..."

Colin Cooper said...

As Benedict XVI said in one of my earlier quotations, JPII believed that the second millennium had been the era of "divisions" as the ideal of Christendom built up throughout the first millenium was fractured by the emergence of nation-states and anti-Christian ideologies, culminating in 1917 with the Bolshevik Revolution: heralding a "century of tears" characterised by inhumane totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which he thought - despite the horrors - had paradoxically prepared the ground for a "springtime of the human spirit" in the next century and Third Millenium, where you would have an "era of unifications".

That earlier Vatican document published by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace under Benedict XVI makes this point crystal clear where it states:

PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE

TOWARDS REFORMING
THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AND MONETARY SYSTEMS
IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL PUBLIC AUTHORITY

"...Modern States became structured wholes over time and reinforced sovereignty within their own territory. But social, cultural and political conditions have gradually changed. Their interdependence has grown – so it has become natural to think of an international community that is integrated and increasingly ruled by a shared system – but a worse form of nationalism has lingered on, according to which the State feels it can achieve the good of its own citizens in a self-sufficient way.

Today all of this seems anachronistic and surreal, and all nations, great or small, together with their governments, are called to go beyond the “state of nature” which would keep States in a never-ending struggle with one another. Globalization, despite some of its negative aspects, is unifying peoples more and prompting them to move towards a new “rule of law” on the supranational level, supported by more intense and fruitful modes of collaboration. With dynamics similar to those that put an end in the past to the “anarchical” struggle between rival clans and kingdoms with regard to the creation of national states, today humanity needs to be committed to the transition from a situation of archaic struggles between national entities, to a new model of a more cohesive, polyarchic international society that respects every people’s identity within the multifaceted riches of a single humanity. Such a passage, which is already timidly under way, would ensure peace and security, development, and free, stable and transparent markets for the citizens of all countries, regardless of their size or power. As John Paul II warns us, “Just as the time has finally come when in individual States a system of private vendetta and reprisal has given way to the rule of law, so too a similar step forward is now urgently needed in the international community”(23).

The time has come to conceive of institutions with universal competence, now that vital goods shared by the entire human family are at stake, goods which individual States cannot promote and protect by themselves.

The conditions exist for going definitively beyond a ‘Westphalian’ international order in which States feel the need for cooperation but do not seize the opportunity to integrate their respective sovereignties for the common good of peoples..."

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks for summing up my thought for anon Colin!

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis, Emmett. If 2017 is such an important year, then what do you think will happen? Do you believe a divine intervention will occur this year? I certainly think so.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks anon! I don't really know what to expect. God is a God of surprises after all! Most likely it will be something that will make people perceive the truth of the Catholic Faith. I keep mulling over the possibility that the Church will make some significant and surprising gesture to mark the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, and that God will respond to this act of devotion in some major way. Sr. Lucia has so much unpublished material. Perhaps some of the most interesting pieces of her writing will be made public, and her beatification will take place this year. I am waiting and wondering like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

First, note 3983 BC as a possible year for the 6000 year time table. One of several articles explaining this:
http://www.cogwriter.com/six_thousand_year_plan_6000.htm
It also points out possible mistakes made by James Ussher and his datings. Note while not everything from that site is relevant, good points are made in the article.

Another along those lines:
http://learnbibleprophecy.blogspot.com/2011/02/time-of-end.html

-3983 + 6000 = 2017

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second, I fully agree with the idea that the vision of Pope Leo identifies the short time given to Satan as stated in Rev chapter 20 (and Medjugorje's Mirjana also said Our Lady also told her basically the same thing as the content of Leo's vision).

The problem I have is it seems others who think this fail to read the rest of Rev chapter 20. It very clearly says that God intervenes to end the attack on the City of God, and then the end of this present world comes, with the Resurrection of the dead and Judgement. Supposedly Our Lady at Medjugorje alluded to this by saying her apparition would result in the breaking or ending of the reign of Satan over this world. Our Lady of Good Success in the 1630s said essentially the same thing.

One cannot have it both ways - claiming the Leo vision announced the short time given to Satan in Rev 20 as the time we are living - the 20th century - but then ignoring the rest of the chapter that says after that time of extra power, Satan will be fettered forever in the abyss.

In Rev chapter 20 it says in verse 9: "But fire came down from heaven and consumed them." And note a coming of fire mentioned by visionaries in the 20th century:

At Fatima the onlookers saw a fiery sun descend upon the world as if to set it on fire.
At Fatima, in the 3rd part, the children saw an angel with a flaming sword that looks as if it would set the world on fire.

Padre Pio reportedly said, when asked about the future, "Can't you see the world catching on fire?"

Our Lady at Akita reportedly said: "Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful."

And at Kibeho Our Lady reportedly said, ""If you don't take refuge in God, where will you go when fire will spread everywhere?"
And this from Kibeho: "It is the one who does evil who will be met with fire," Emmanuel (who died in the civil war) further quoted Jesus as saying. "Hurry to do good, for Satan will one day disappear from this world, and then you will never be tempted again. But hurry, for there is little time left."
And: "First: There will be fire that will come from beneath the earth and consume everything on earth."

God bless you.
Greg J Cring



Mark L said...


And from the Marian Movement of Priests messages (just a quick selection):

"Because this humanity has not accepted my repeated call to conversion, to repentance, and to a return to God, there is about to fall upon it the greatest chastisement which the history of mankind has ever known. It is a chastisement much greater than that of the flood. Fire will fall from heaven, and a great part of humanity will be destroyed." (332f, Como, Italy, 9/6/1986, Anniversary of the Miracle of the Tears)

"A chastisement worse than the flood is about to come upon this poor and perverted humanity. Fire will descend from heaven, and this will be the sign that the justice of God has as of now fixed the hour of his great manifestation." (362g given at Akita, Japan, 9/15/1987, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows)

(At Kibeho, it was devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows which Mary expressed her desire that we return to)

"Fire will come down from heaven, and a great part of humanity will be destroyed. Those who will survive will envy the dead, because everywhere there will be desolation, death and ruin." (501h, Tokyo, Japn, 9/15/1993, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows)

The word concordance to the blue book is here:
http://www.mmp-usa.net/concordance_indices.html

If you don't have the book and want me to look up a passage, let me know. There are a great many references to fire.

All of you know what a remarkable worldwide following the Marian Movement of Priests enjoys among the clergy.

I recall reading in Mirjana's book her speculation as to why Mary (allegedly) asks for so many continuous prayers for the clergy. She says they play a very key part in the era to come. So this would tie in with Mary's preparation of the clergy via the MMP.

Mark L.

Colin Cooper said...

Emmett,

I was reflecting a moment ago on the concept of the "Katechon" (Restrainer) referred to (with both masculine and neuter pronouns) in Paul's 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7.

I'm curious - do you have any ideas on what/who this might be?

Saint Paul explains that the advent of Antichrist is conditional upon the removal of "something/someone that restrains him" and prevents him being fully manifested.

The verse appears to indicate both a person and a more impersonal authority, perhaps the power wielded by the former over the latter. Interpreters have sought to identify a candidate for which both genders - male, therefore a person and neuter, therefore impersonal - are appropriate.

The Church Fathers were consistent in their belief that the what of the "Katechon" was the Roman Empire while the who was the Roman Emperor - the existence of which prevented civilization from lapsing into "lawlessness". Note that Paul refers to an eschatological figure considered by most to be synonymous with the Antichrist as the "man of lawlessness". i.e


"...St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386) Doctor of the Church
Catechetical Lectures

LECTURE XV.

ON THE CLAUSE, AND SHALL COME IN GLORY TO JUDGE THE QUICK AND THE DEAD; OF WHOSE KINGDOM THERE SHALL BE NO END, DANIEL vii. 9--14.

12. But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is now drawing near..."


I wondered if we could perhaps relate this idea to the "Last World Emperor" tradition and the rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire after its collapse in 1806 - 1917-18 if you equate it with the Habsburg Dynasty.

the "Roman Empire" didn't fall in the fifth century.

Only the Western half did. The Eastern half persisted until the 1400s and by that time the Western half had already been revived under the Franks in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, which in turn persisted until 1806.

The ruling Habsburg Dynasty then turned the Empire into the Austrian Empire which finally collapsed in 1918-1922 under Blessed Karl I.

Throughout this period, liturgical prayers for the Emperor remained in the official Roman missals until 1955.

In the Collects of the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday:


"...Let us pray also for the most Christian Emperor [Name] that the Lord God may reduce to his obedience all barbarous nations for our perpetual peace.
LET US PRAY.

Deacon: Let us kneel.
Subdeacon: Arise.
O almighty and eternal God, in whose hands are all the power and right of kingdoms, graciously look down on the Roman Empire that those nations who confide in their own haughtiness and strength, may be reduced by the power of Thy right hand. Through the same Lord…
R: Amen..."


At the end of Exsultet on the Easter Vigil:


"...Look also upon our most devout Emperor [Name], the desires of whose longing you, O God, know beforehand, and by the inexpressible grace of your kindness and mercy grant him the tranquility of lasting peace and heavenly victory with all his people..."


So in that respect the "Empire" in some form has only ceased to exist since 1917-1918 with the fall of the Hapbsburgs during WW1, and it was only in 1955 that Catholics finally ceased to pray for it in our liturgies to reflect that changed reality. These imperial prayers were even in missals in the U.S. until 1955.

I have personally speculated that the absence of a "world politically authority" in lieu of the Holy Roman Empire since 1918 has enabled a period of "lawlessness," a minor tribulation that could possibly be equated with Pope Leo XIII's vision of a Satanic century.

Colin Cooper said...

Consider also, in this respect:

Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini),


"...On what hinders the manifestation of the Antichrist:


The Roman Empire also has another privilege, as some assert: they do not think that Antichrist will come while it remains in existence. Thus they interpret these words of St Paul, doctor of the Gentiles, that he who now holdeth, do hold until he be taken out of the way. And then the wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord shall kill with the spirit of His mouth [II Thessalonians 2:7-8]. It is evident that the divine Augustine followed this opinion. Origin and Authority of the Roman Empire..."


St John Chrysostom Homily IV on Second Thessalonians II Thess.ii.6-9:


"...Only there is one that restrains now, until he be taken out of the way, that is, when the Roman empire is taken out of the way, then he shall come. And naturally. For as long as the fear of this empire lasts, no one will willingly exalt himself, but when that is dissolved, he will attack the anarchy, and endeavor to seize upon the government both of man and of God..."


If Catholic private revelations are correct in thinking that we are to expect a Great Monarch and Holy Pope prior to the final persecution (regardless of how long the Era of Peace lasts, the order of events is still fixed), then cannot we say that the Great Monarch and his "Empire" (in modern terminology, "supranational union") is perhaps the "Katechon"?

Colin Cooper said...

Not long after the Holy Roman Empire proper fell at the start of the 19th century, Fr. Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio (1793–1862), who was a Jesuit priest, celebrated theologian and political philosopher and who co-founded the journal Civiltà Cattolica in 1850 and is is often remembered as the "Father of Catholic Social Teaching", wrote the following:



"...The Catholic Tradition of the Law of Nations

By John Eppstein

Taparelli D'Azeglio. 'Essai Théorique de Droit Naturel,' Book VI, Chap. V. Article 11. Form of International Societies: their end, their duties and their rights:

Since the decline of the Holy Roman Empire and of the quasi-theocratic power of the Popes, the international authority has, among European peoples, revealed itself in the agreements between the different sovereigns, expressed in treaties, alliances, congresses, confederations, etc. But as we have observed (in the origin of human society) the polyarchy of brothers, equal in rights, emancipated from the father's control, giving to their common authority certain forms, in order that it may be more effective and more lasting, so we see modern nations, now that they are freed from the guardianship of the Holy Roman Empire and the protection of the Popes, feeling more and more in need of an international authority which is regular, perfectly determined in all its aspects, an authority which is strong, which is respected by all, and which can ensure the rights of the weak shall no longer be at the mercy of the strong.

But when interest itself is at one one with the requirements of justice, it becomes all powerful and infallibly determines the forms which accord most harmoniously with the needs of human societies. And so, I believe, we shall gradually see arising in the world a kind of universal federal tribunal which will replace alliances, congresses and treaties, just as these have temporarily replaced today the supreme authority of the Emperor and the patriarchical government of the Popes. I do not see how this stage can fail to come, though it be reached but slowly, for the life of nations can be reckoned in centuries. Special confederations between small States seem to be a prelude to the organization of the international authority, just as, in the Middle Ages, the evolution of the Commune led, little by little, to a complete state of civil equality and the unity of the political authority.

1367. But let us leave to the passage of time, the art of politics and the march of events - blind instruments of Divine Providence - the gradual development of the political forms of international society, so as to achieve the welfare of the nations, in the same as the civic forms of the State must insensibly intend to the attainment of happiness for the families and individuals that compose it..."


I personally feel that Fr. Taparelli is correct - he argues for the exact same future "world political authority," a successor to the Holy Roman Empire and theocratic temporal power of the Papacy, as the Social Magisterium of recent Pontiffs.

Like him, I feel this must happen first prior to the advent of Antichrist.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Colin, that is exactly what I argue in my book - that the biblical katechon is the Great Monarch - the "restrainer" holding back the appearance of the Antichrist. I think there is also good reason to suggest that it is Elijah.

Colin Cooper said...

Hi Emmett,

That's very interesting that we have arrived at the exact same conclusion independently of one another.

Needless to say, I agree!

Anonymous said...

If you read entry #823-824 of St. Faustina's Diary, she mentions the date (12/17/36) as a day offered for priests...when she suffered more than ever before, more than she ever thought possible. Interesting that this date is the ACTUAL DAY of Pope Francis' birth (the "pope of mercy")! I have been pondering for some time what this could mean. Maybe this is what will give him the grace to concecrate Russia? Who knows...
Lisa

Rachmaninov said...

With the amount of abuse Pope Francis is suffering, maybe St Faustina's sufferings on that day were linked with this Pope in some way, to aid him.

Bridget said...

Lisa,

I posed the same question a few days ago on Emmett's post concerning the prophecies of the martyr-pope! That diary entry has puzzled me too. I wondered if the intesnse suffering she felt points towards him being the Angelic Pope (one of the Two Witnesses) who will be martyred by the Antichrist (scary thought). But you're right... who knows!

Bridget said...

Emmett,

Assuming Pope Francis is the Angelic Pope, are you surprised that the Great Monarch hasn't been revealed yet? I'm thinking back to Pope Francis saying that he believes (or has a "sensation") that his pontificate will be short... maximum four or five years.

Colin Cooper said...

I think there is definitely something significant about our current pontiff's decision to take the regnal name of "Francis", the 'Poor Man of Assisi'.

In 1959, the young Ratzinger wrote a book-length doctoral thesis on the eschatology and theology of St. Bonaventure - the Seraphic Doctor.

Quite simply, he argues that St. Francis is essential to the "era of peace".

Read this and make of it what you will:


The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI New Edition: An Introduction


"...What emerges from Ratzinger's necessarily convoluted discussion, is that Saint Bonaventure, just like Joachim, hopes for a new age of salvation within history. Between Jesus Christ and the final consummation of history he makes space for an 'inner-historical transformation of the Church'. Before this immediately pre-eschatological 'seventh age', there lies a small section of our present sixth age which is yet to be realized. Here is where Bonaventure's attention is focussed, in a:

mysterious border-line area separating the perilous time of the present from that age of Sabbath rest which is yet to come within the framework of this world. (Ratzinger)
​Within the single covenant of the New Testament, the present sixth age is being brought to its climax. In this, the crucial role is that played by St. Francis...

Bonaventure presents Francis as the key-figure in ushering in for the Church a new era which can only be compared to the beatitude of heaven itself...Within the time of the Church, the emergence of St. Francis, the 'Angel of the Seals,' foretold in the Book of the Apocalypse, and the rise of the prophetic movement he started, namely, Franciscanism. Francis is for Bonaventure not just another saint, but the [first] sign of a new age...Bonaventure initiated that the final coming of Elijah is to become a reality in the mission of the 'two witnesses' of the Johannine Apocalypse. Elijah will come again, accompanied by that other Old Testament deathless man, Enoch...

But more than this, Francis is the angelus ascendens ab ortu solis, the 'angel arising with the dawn,' marked with the seal of the living God, the stigmata, the very impress of Christ crucified...This he does by drawing men and women to make profession...to a contemplative form of Christianity, stamped by love as wax is informed by a seal. This people will enjoy here and now the peace of the seventh day, the dawn of the Lord's Parousia...While Bonaventure considered the 'new people of God' that he envisaged for the future as the true fulfilment of Francis' intentions, he was not so arrogant as to suppose that this novus ordo (new order) was identical with the present Franciscan Order. As Ratzinger stresses:

For the present, the Dominican and Franciscan Orders stand together as the inauguration of a new period for which they are preparing. But they cannot bring this period into actuality all by themselves. When this age arrives, it will be a time of contemplation, a time of full understanding of the scripture and, in this respect, a time of the Holy spirit who leads us into the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ. (Ratzinger)

​Bonaventure thus takes Francis to anticipate in his own person that eschatological form of life which will be general in the future. Although the Religious Order he founded was merely cherubicus, concerned, like that of the Dominicans, with devotion and theological speculation, Francis himself more truly belonged to theordo seraphicus...The final age of the world will find the Church a contemplative church, ecclesia contemplativa. As such, it will enjoy an unparralleled fulness of revelation..."


Pope Francis seems to be ushering in this prophesied "ecclesia contemplative", hence his chosen name.

Colin Cooper said...

Pope Benedict XVI explains in his thesis - which I've read in full, its excellent - Bonaventure didn't believe in any Joachian "third age" of the Holy Spirit. History is not divided into Trinitarian blocs - it is Christological at its heart.

Bonaventure corrected Joachim's heresy but he did agree with him regarding a future era of peace - which he called the "seventh age of the Church".

Public revelation was completed with the death of the final apostle in the late first century but our understanding of it is limitless and advances with the ages, as the Church "matures" so to speak - like the tiny acorn slowly developing into a mighty oak tree.

It is from this "Bonaventurian" concept of 'Christ's works making progress' in the life of the Church that the later idea - most chiefly associated with Blessed Henry Cardinal Newman - of "doctrinal development" arose.

St. Bonaventure theorized that this "progression" in our understanding of the deposit of faith - which partly comes about through the contemplation of believers - was tending towards an ecclesial "Springtime", so to speak, after the winter of centuries of suffering, schism and heresy - in which the Church Militant on earth would be as closely aligned to the Church Triumphant in heaven.

This is not utopian and it is not millenarian. No one knows how long the era of peace will last. Man will not be perfect during it - perfectability is impossible in this temporal world bondaged to sin. But God still intends to give his Church this Springtime.

The mystical union with God enjoyed by the great contemplative of Assisi will be enjoyed by many more people - perhaps a majority of humans - during the Peace.

Now, allow me to quote from the young Benedict's thesis with regards to St. Bonaventure's understanding of this....



"....'And then there will be peace'. For Bonaventure, this peace has come closer to earth [than in Augustine's City of God]. It is not that peace in the eternity of God which will never end and which will follow the dissolution of the world. It is a peace which God Himself will establish in this world which has seen so much blood and tears, as if at least at the end of time, God would show how things could have been and should have been in accordance with His plan.

Here the breadth of a new age is blowing; an age in which the desire for the glory of the other world is shaped by a deep love of this earth on which we live..."

- This is the conclusion of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger's habilitation (doctoral) dissertation from 1959, translated by Zachary Hayes O.F.M., and published as The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure​



Unlike false millenarianism, the true Era of Peace is not an attempt to locate the perfect, everlasting glory of Heaven in the perishable here and now. This is the error of all secular utopianisms, such as Karl Marx with his vision of a universal proletarian, post-capitalist paradise.

Changing economics and structures cannot change man. Healing the economy cannot heal the heart of man enslaved to original sin.

Only the peace which comes from God can endure and even this, not forever in this mortal world still bound up with sin and perishing.

Thus, the saints and popes predict that the age of peace will be both a joyous and solemn hour. Solemn because mankind will be fully aware that it is not to last and could end - when? Who knows. At any time really. So one must remain forever vigilant of the "thief in the night". But it will end and our true home will never be here, true satisfaction will never be found here - only in the Beatific Vision of the Most Blessed Trinity in Heaven.

Colin Cooper said...

If I can quote another few paragraphs from that write-up on Pope Benedict's 1959 thesis that are relevant to our discussion of the significance of Pope Francis' adoption of the name "Francis":

The stages of faith are also stages of mysticism. And, in such a viewpoint, they are seen quite naturally as stages of revelatio as well. Revelatio refers not to the letter of Scripture, but to the understanding of the letter. And this understanding can be increased. If we were to suppose the possibility of a period of time in which the power of genuine mystical elevation were granted to all human beings, then - in this perspective - we could refer to such a time as a time of revelation in quite a new sense.

In the present epoch where, thanks to the activity of the Franciscan and Dominican Orders, there is already a considerable upsurge of biblical exegesis and preaching, 'revelation' in this sense has started to expain again. But the revelation of the Seventh Age will far exceed such modest advances. It will go beyond the sapienta multiformis, the 'multiform wisdom' of the present age, whose model is Augustine. It will transform itself into a sapienta nulliformis, a wisdom which is formless (apophatic) to the degree that it lies beyond all forms. The exemplar of this non-discursive, non-Scholastic acquaintance with the mystery of the Word of God, simple, inner, familiar, is Denys the Areopagite [the father of Apophatic mysticism in Christianity].

Bonaventure predicts an end to rational theology... In the Church of the final age, Francis' own manner of life will triumph, impracticable though it is if lived sine glossa here and now. The Poor Man of Assisi, the simplex, the idiota, will turn out to have more penetration into God than all the learned men of his time, because he loved God more..."​



Now, I wouldn't go so far as to claim that our Holy Father is the Angelic Shepherd but he clearly has a key role to play in the approaching Springtime.

His name is truly prophetic

Colin Cooper said...

Also, we should note a few interesting things:


https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/popes-mystical-moment-something-did-happen


"...On the pope's 'mystical moment': something did happen


Scalfari quotes Francis as saying he initially considered refusing the papacy, and before he accepted, he left the Sistine Chapel for a moment of prayer in a small room off the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Basilica. There, according to the text, he had a quasi-mystical experience that dispelled his anxiety. Afterward, Scalfari has the pope saying, he returned to the chapel, signed his act of acceptance and went off to present himself to the world...

This cardinal said he's been struck by the more freewheeling and spontaneous style Francis has demonstrated as pope in comparison to the fairly restrained and shy manner he exhibited in public in Argentina, and he told me he had said to the pope point-blank, "You're not the same guy."

According to the cardinal, the pope's reply was more or less the following: "When I was elected, a great sense of inner peace and freedom came over me, and it's never left me."

We got additional details from an interview Rosica recently conducted with Msgr. Dario Viganò, director of the Vatican Television Center, for Salt and Light:

The pope had a few moments of silent prayer and, according to Viganò, describing what he saw, "he stands up, turns around, and at that moment he's a different person."

"It's as if God had said to him personally, 'Don't worry, I'm here with you,' " Viganò said..."



Pope Francis' pontificate began with a "mystical experience" in which he felt transformed into a new person.

Benedict XVI stated that his resignation to make way for Francis was also caused by a mystical experience:


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/21/pope-benedict-god-resign-mystical-experience


Ex-pope Benedict says God told him to resign during 'mystical experience'

The former pope Benedict has claimed that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a "mystical experience".

Breaking his silence for the first time since he became the first pope to step down in 600 years, the 86-year-old reportedly said: "God told me to" when asked what had pushed him to retire to a secluded residence in the Vatican gardens.

Benedict denied he had been visited by an apparition or had heard God's voice, but said he had undergone a "mystical experience" during which God had inspired in him an "absolute desire" to dedicate his life to prayer rather than push on as pope...

Benedict said his mystical experience had lasted months, building his desire to create a direct and exclusive relationship with God. Now, after witnessing the "charisma" of his successor, Pope Francis, Benedict said he understood to a greater extent how his stepping aside was the "will of God"..."


I can't help but speculate that His Holiness' mystical experience might be related to St. Bonaventure's prophecy of a "contemplative church" modelled upon the spirituality of St. Francis and his mystical communion with God.

In this respect, we should also consider Pope Francis' words on the mystics in a 2013 interview:

"[Mystics] have been fundamental [to the church]. A religion without mystics is a philosophy."

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Bridget,

Yes, the Great Monarch should reveal himself in due time. I'm not too sure whether it will be this year, on in many to come. But if Pope Francis is the Angelic Pope, as I and many others suspect, then I would expect the Great Monarch to be crowned during the course of this pontificate. It is interesting that Francis is pope during this of all years.
Colin, I've often read St. Bonaventure's work on St. Francis through a similar lens. Could Pope Francis be the "angel of the sixth seal" who proclaims the eternal gospel throughout the earth? I certainly hope so... Thanks for sharing Ratzinger's take on St. Bonaventure - beautiful!

Rachmaninov said...

I think we would need to see the entire text of the young Joseph Ratzinger to make a judgment on what was being proposed. Certainly as Pope or Cardinal Ratzinger he showed no sort of expectation that something this grand was to happen. In fact in his interview with Peter Seewald, he ruled it out. If you read his 3 general audiences from 2010 on Bonaventure, he doesnt say anything about the expectation of a future golden age of Christianity. He stresses that with Christ, the new age began; history will always be full of sinners, but through the Incarnation, death and Resurrection, the new age (new heaven and new earth) have been inaugurated, therefore nothing else will be said in an eschatological sense until the final coming of Jesus

Colin Cooper said...

Hello Rachmaninov,

Thanks for your post!

I'm afraid it would be impossible for me to quote the entire thesis lol. My quotation above was from the conclusion, verbatim. I can assure you that what both I and the above autobiographer of Benedict XVI's life/works have written in relation to his 1959 doctoral thesis is substantially correct. I'd encourage you to read it though - its excellent! If turgid, very deep. I acquired a copy from Amazon, second-hand under the title, "Theology of History In St. Bonaventure".

In terms of Benedict's addresses on Bonaventure, the young future Pope Benedict XVI dissected the great Doctor's understanding of the divine economy and salvation history which (relative to his time in the medieval, scholastic period) modified elements of Augustinian thought to incorporate fresh insights from the emerging Franciscan school.

Basically, while St. Augustine appears to have placed Christ at the end of history, with the Second Coming that will sound the death knell for this creation and usher in a new reality, St. Bonaventure - while not contradicting the great Father in terms of the broad schema of his thinking - placed Christ at the centre of human history.

This has ramifications, very significant one's for understanding the purpose and direction of human history as a whole, as well as divine revelation.

For St. Bonaventure, neither of these things are "static". Benedict XVI stated in one of the addresses:


"...Christ's works do not go backwards, they do not fail but progress, the Saint said in his letter De Tribus Quaestionibus. Thus St Bonaventure explicitly formulates the idea of progress and this is an innovation in comparison with the Fathers of the Church and the majority of his contemporaries. For St Bonaventure Christ was no longer the end of history, as he was for the Fathers of the Church, but rather its centre; history does not end with Christ but begins a new period...

The phenomenon of St Francis assured him that the riches of Christ's word are inexhaustible and that new light could also appear to the new generations. The oneness of Christ also guarantees newness and renewal in all the periods of history..."


(Continued......)

Colin Cooper said...

St. Bonaventure theorized that this "progression" in our understanding of the deposit of faith would at some stage lead the Church to become an "ecclesia contemplativa", in which the mystical union of St. Francis with Christ would become the general state of many or even most believers. St. Bonaventure explains this in his, 'Analogies On The Six Days'. Here St. Bonaventure argues that each of the days of creation in Genesis prefigures one of the so-called seven ages of the Old Covenant and each of these ages in turn prefigures one of the seven ages of the New Covenant.

He divides history before and after Christ into seven ages first of Israel and then of New Israel, the Church. Christ, he argues, is the Tree of Life at the centre of this concordance between the Two Testaments. In this way, he rejects Joachim of Fiore's divisions into aged of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It's one God acting in one sacred narrative of history.

For example, the Old Covenant ages include the fifth age, ‘the age of kingly glory’ and the sixth age ‘the age of the prophetic voice’. The title of the New Covenant age corresponding to the latter is the age of clara doctrina – clear doctrine. It started with Charlemagne. In Bonaventure’s schema what follows next is the seventh ‘age of quiet’, prefigured by the ‘age of half-way rest’ in the Old Testament, when the Jews were delivered from Captivity in Babylon by Cyrus the Great and led back to Israel by Joshua, the High Priest and Prince Zerubbabel, who together rebuilt the Temple, restored divine worship and enabled the Israelites to dwell in their own land again in period from Ezra until the birth of Christ, not long prior to which they were conquered by the Romans.

For St. Bonaventure - and Ratzinger explains this in his thesis - St. Francis had already entered into "seventh age of peace," through his mystical union with Christ.


In the thesis, Ratzinger wrote:


"...The theology of history of Saint Bonaventure culminates in the hope of an age, within history, of Sabbatical calm donated by God...It is not that peace in the eternity of God which will never end and which will follow the dissolution of the world. It is a peace which God Himself will establish in this world which has seen so much blood and tears...

Revelatio refers not to the letter of Scripture, but to the understanding of the letter. And this understanding can be increased. If we were to suppose the possibility of a period of time in which the power of genuine mystical elevation were granted to all human beings, then - in this perspective - we could refer to such a time as a time of revelation in quite a new sense...

When this age arrives, it will be a time of contemplation, a time of full understanding of the scripture and, in this respect, a time of the Holy spirit who leads us into the fulness of the truth of Jesus Christ..."


St. Bonaventure differentiates this "period of peace" from the millennial heresy of Joachim of Fiore, which posited a "definitive intra-historical fulfilment, an inner, intrinsic perfectibility of history".

It's a great thesis as I said and Ratzinger's first - which makes it even better!

Colin Cooper said...

As to when, and if, Ratzinger ever referred to this earlier idea as much in his later life, I would dispute your contention that he rejected this in his interview with Peter Seewald. Rather, as I demonstrated earlier on, he categorically stated that Pope St. John Paul II was a firm believer and that he himself was leaving it in the hands of God:


"...Interviewer:

John Paul II in his talk before the United Nations in New York in 1995 on the foundations of a new world order, also spoke of a new hope for the Third Millenium. "We shall see," said the Pope, "that the tears of this century have prepared the ground for a new springtime of the human spirit". What might he mean by this "springtime"?


Pope Benedict XVI:

The Pope does indeed cherish a great expectation that the millenium of divisions will be followed by a millenium of unifications...

It is thus filled with the hope that the millenia have their physiognomy; that all the catastrophes of our century, as the Pope says, will be caught up at the end and turned into a new beginning. Unity of mankind, unity of religions, unity of Christians - we ought to search for these unities again, so that a more positive epoch may really begin. We must have visions. This is a vision that inspires us and that challenges us to move in that direction. The Pope's untiring activity comes precisely from his visionary power. Whether the vision is actually fulfilled is something we naturally have to leave entirely in God's hands..."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Salt of the Earth


The meaning above is pretty clear.

In addition to this, we have this intriguing 2010 statement from his actual pontificate:


Benedict XVI
Homily
Fatima, May 13, 2010


"...Our Lady helped them [the children of Fatima] to open their hearts to universal love. Blessed Jacinta, in particular, proved tireless in sharing with the needy and in making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Only with this fraternal and generous love will we succeed in building the civilization of love and peace.

We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete...Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima...

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity..."

Colin Cooper said...

Here, Benedict XVI ties Pope JPII's prophecy of a "civilization of love" in the 21st century to the doctrinal precept of 'fraternal solidarity' and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

The "global fraternity" he speaks of is the same as that referred to by his predecessor Pope Pius XI in his 1925 encyclical Qua Primas:


http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi...as-primas.html


"Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men...

When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King...peace and harmony will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished..."

Colin Cooper said...

In his later interview with Seewald, he clarifies that his 2010 statement did not refer to a "major turn-a-round in history," reiterating JPII's warning about millenarianism, I should add:


"...[Benedict XVI:] There are two aspects of the message of Fatima that have to be distinguished. On the one hand, there is a particular event, which is recounted in forms typical of visionary experience, and, on the other hand, there is the fundamental significance of the event...

I said that the “triumph” will draw closer. This is equivalent in meaning to our praying for the coming of God’s Kingdom. This statement was not intended — I may be too rationalistic for that — to express any expectation on my part that there is going to be a huge turnaround and that history will suddenly take a totally different course. The point was rather that the power of evil is restrained again and again, that again and again the power of God himself is shown in the Mother’s power and keeps it alive.

The Church is always called upon to do what God asked of Abraham, which is to see to it that there are enough righteous men to repress evil and destruction. I understood my words as a prayer that the energies of the good might regain their vigor. So you could say the triumphs of God, the triumphs of Mary, are quiet, but they are real nonetheless..."


Bonaventure's era of peace is not a rupture in the gradual course of history.

Colin Cooper said...

In the above, Benedict says something that I think is germane for us all to keep in mind.

The interviewer asked him: "Do these words mean that the Pope, who, after all, is the holder of a prophetic office, thinks that within the coming seven years the Mother of God could actually appear in a manner that would be tantamount to a triumph?"

He replied as above, also noting that: "the purpose was to allude to a critical point, a critical moment in history, by which I mean the whole power of evil that came to a head in the major dictatorships of the twentieth century—and that in another way is still at work today."

As I said earlier, those expecting something grandiose to happen this year are likely going to be dissapointed. History isn't going to be tilted off its trajectory in some huge, sudden way just within 7 years from 2010.

"Quiet triumphs," building upon gradual changes in the hearts of men.

Also, he reminds us that as Vatican II stated, "peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly."

So when an earlier poster asked the question: "what will be the impetus for this sudden change in 2017 leading to an era of peace?" One has to say, "There won't be a sudden change!".

A "Period of Peace" will be granted to the world as Our Lady promised but it will not be a utopia and it will not come suddenly imho.

With the Marian intervention at Fatima, we are being guided down a trajectory that I personally think will take a long time to come to fruition.

I think we're going to see things getting better, after a minor tribulation, before they get "worse".

Right now, we can discern hopeful signs of future progress - and the Church is guiding humanity towards them - and less hopeful signs of the "evil" that came to a head in the 20th century with Nazism and Communism but is still with us. As Benedict XVI said in that interview with Seewald:

"the purpose was to allude to a critical point, a critical moment in history, by which I mean the whole power of evil that came to a head in the major dictatorships of the twentieth century—and that in another way is still at work today."

Colin Cooper said...

Benedict XVI also said in that interview to Peter Seewald:


"...Faith develops. And part of this development is precisely the increasing emphatic interventions by which the Mother of God enters the world as a guide along the right path, as a light from God, as the Mother through whom we are also able to know the Son and the Father in turn.

God, in other words, has given us signs.

In the very midst of the twentieth century. In our rationalism, and in the face of the rising power of dictatorships, God shows us the humility of the Mother, who appears to little children and speaks to them of the essentials: faith, hope, love, penance. It therefore makes sense to me that people find windows here, as it were. In Fatima I witnessed the presence of hundreds of thousands of people whose eyes, you might say, had regained the ability to see God, through all the barriers and enclosures of this world, thanks to what Mary had said to little children in Fatima..."


The Marian interventions are therefore a crucial part of the gradual "development" in our understanding of the deposit of Faith.

But its gradual. Not sudden and seismic.

We are improving after a period in which evil reached a peak and we will get better for a while longer as the faith spreads and the evangelical virtues become more embedded in society. Our trajectory is now, therefore, more hopeful than before.

And so, in this manner, the promise of peace will unfold until the time when we have an "ecclesia contemplativa" as Bonaventure foresaw.

I think that the gradual formation of a "world political authority," will be the political counterpart to this and will restore some of the international stability once provided by the Holy Roman Empire and the theocratic rule of the Papacy as Fr. Taparelli predicted.

The Popes keep directing us in this way.

The work of this will be greatly bolstered by the Great Monarch and Holy Pope imho.

But it will be a case of progressive building upon what had come before, not a sudden change in history.

Anonymous said...

he Triumph could be gradual or it could come rather suddenly. Benedict simply offered his opinion on this point and did not set anything in stone. Even when the Triumph comes, it will not be a perpetual peace. Sin and suffering will always exist until the end. But individuals as well as nations can choose to either live in a state of grace or live in a state of mortal sin. If it is possible for individuals to live daily lives of grace, it is certainly possible on a national and global scale. However, for this to occur and for Christendom to be restored, we must first witness the defeat of international Freemasonry which has driven God and the Catholic Church out of public life.

I can think of a few ways that the Triumph would come quickly. For instance, Pope Pius IX prophesied that "there will come a great prodigy that will fill the world with awe." Saint Faustina was also told by Our Lord that before the Day of Justice all light in the Heavens would be extinguished and the Cross would light up the earth for a period of time. Clearly, if such a worldwide supernatural event of this magnitude were to occur, then a period of mass conversions and restoration would come rather quickly. If some public miracle like this were to occur, then the Triumph would come quickly rather than gradually. We cannot rule out a divine intervention.

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
In my first book Heralds of the Second Coming, I have a quote from JP II where he states the "civilization of love" is none other than the new heaven and new earth. The quote you had from salt of the earth about unification was simply the expressed hope that after the turmoil of a millenium of divisions, and new era of relations between nations and religions could happen. Thats really not the same as a great era of peace that you are describing. Popes say these things all the time in diplomatic speeches-a cherished hope-like Christian unity.
Also I would draw your attention to the various approved marian apparitions and revelations that all talk of the nearness of the second coming: Divine Mercy, Kibeho, San Nicholas Argentina. Pope Benedict XVI stated the ultimate Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is the same event as the coming of the Kingdom which as the CCC says only happens after the Last Judgment. If you look at the revelations of St Hildegard of Bingen Doctor of the Church and fully approved by various popes there is no large scale peace to come before the end of the world. The question is during the time of the two witnesses, how much of a renewal and conversion happens alongside the conversion of the Jews-and thats an area that Emmett is far more of an expert than me, but I personally think as Hildegard shows, there is some sort of concurrence with that conversion of good willed and the Jews, while at the same time a devastating apostasy and persecution: the contrast between wheat and the weeds being greater than ever

Colin Cooper said...

Hello again Rachmaninov,

Thanks again for your post and apologies for writing so much in my last message to you - I'll keep this one more concise!

I am not aware of the quotation you speak of but would like to read it if you could direct my attention to the relevant reference or source.

There are many speeches in which St. JPII refers to the expectation of a "civilization of love" as a temporal reality this side of the Eschaton related to a New Pentecost and Springtime of the Church. His statements in this regard make perfect sense in the context of earlier papal encyclicals such as Annum Sacrum and Qua Primas that are clearly not designed to be "diplomatic-speak" but to teach matters pertaining to the Faith.

Consider St. JPII's 2001 World Day of Prayer for Peace address, which reads in part, notice the part I place in ##:


"...At the dawn of a new millennium, there is growing hope that relationships between people will be increasingly inspired by the ideal of a truly universal brotherhood. Unless this ideal is shared, there will be no way to ensure a stable peace. There are many signs which suggest that this conviction is becoming more deeply rooted in people's minds...by the process of globalization which is leading to a progressive unification of the economy, culture and society. For their part, the followers of the different religions are ever more conscious of the fact that a relationship with the one God, the common Father of all, cannot fail to bring about a greater sense of human brotherhood and a more fraternal life together....

Dialogue leads to a recognition of diversity and opens the mind to the mutual acceptance and genuine collaboration demanded by the human family's basic vocation to unity. As such, ## dialogue is a privileged means for building the civilization of love and peace that my revered predecessor Pope Paul VI indicated as the ideal to inspire cultural, social, political and economic life in our time. ## At the beginning of the Third Millennium, it is urgent that the path of dialogue be proposed once again to a world marked by excessive conflict and violence, a world at times discouraged and incapable of seeing signs of hope and peace..."


The civilization of love is explicitly described in terms of "cultural, social, political and economic life in our time".

Now, I have never read him do so but I'm prepared to envisage that he may have used the phrase in a more spiritualism vein but that is not its primary usage in his magisterial texts or other talks.

I struggle to see how you could suggest as such.

In terms of nearness of the Second Coming, I would caution that we have been in the final hour since Christ's death and resurrection. It is has been "near" for 2,000 years.

The Second Coming may come tomorrow, a year from now, a hundred years from now or ten hundred. I did however quote from a magisterial text in an earlier post where St. JPII implied that there will be centuries of time beyond the 21st, so it would not seem to be the case that he personally shared your opinion regarding the immense of the Eschaton, although I certainly don't discount the possibility since it is entirely in the divine discretion when the End Times take place.

There is no consensus since its timing is in God's hands.

I would say, nonetheless, that private revelation and the Papal magisterium of late - when viewed also in the context of the expectations latent in the Social Doctrine of the Church - make an era of peace, which could last anywhere between a single generation to a far more extended period, a likely possibility along with a minor tribulation - these things taking place before the advent of Antichrist and the final persecution.

Certainly St. Bonaventure, St. Catherine of Sienna and many other Doctors of the Church and saints anticipated a Springtime for the Church before the end.

Colin Cooper said...

To conclude, you mention St. Hildegard of Bingen - she actually did anticipate a great renewal of the Church before the end of time after a minor apostasy (falling away from the faith):


"...Then, courageous men will arise and prophesy, and they will gather together all things old and new from the Scriptures and all that has been uttered through the Holy Spirit, and they will adorn their understanding of these things as if with a necklace set with precious jewels. Through their influence and that of other wise people, many of the laity will become virtuous and will live saintly lives..."

(Epistolarium II, CCCM 91)


"...In those days many also shall prophesy and many more shall be wise, so that the secrets of the prophets and the mysteries of the other scriptures in their fullness shall lie open to the wise. Their sons and daughters shall prophesy, just as was foretold many ages before…. They shall also prophesy in the same spirit by which the prophets of old announced the mysteries of God, and in the likeness of the apostles’ teaching, which excelled all human understanding..."

(Liber Divinorum Operum III.10.25-26)



This is a very consistent refrain in the eschatological pronouncements of approved Doctors, visionaries and mystics. St. Louis de Montfort also referred, like St. Hildegard above, to prophets arising who would be "Apostles of the End Times" and lead many people to a holier estate.

It has nothing to do with a heretical millennium but it has everything to do with a Springtime for the Church after a minor tribulation whereby the lives of many ordinary believers become like those of the greatest mystics in terms of virtue and union with God, such that the Church Militant is closely conformed with the Church Triumphant.

Many of these prophecies anticipate that this renewal within the Church will result in the full evangelization of the Gentiles and as a consequence closer fraternity among people's before the final Great Apostasy.

As such, I concur with this venerable belief.

Colin Cooper said...

Here is St. Bonaventure's version of St. Hildegard's great renewal of the Church before the End:


"...The End is not to be placed there, because no one knows how long that time of great peace will last since "when they said 'Peace and security,' then suddenly destruction came upon them" (Matt. 24:21).

The seventh time or age, that of quiet, begins with the shout of the angel who "swore through Him who lives forever and ever that there would be no more time; but in the days of the seventh angel the mystery of God will be completed" (Rev. 10:&-7)...It is necessary that one ruler, a defender of the Church, arise. He either is still to come or has already come. (He added: Would that he has not already come!) After him will come the darkness of tribulations...

In the coming seventh age there will be a restoration of divine worship and a rebuilding of the city. Then the prophecy of Ezekiel will be fulfilled when the city comes down from heaven (Ezek. 40); not indeed that city which is above, but that city which is below, the Church Militant which will then be conformed to the Church Triumphant as far as possible in this life. Then will be the building and restoration of the city as it was in the beginning. Then there will be peace. God alone knows how long that peace will last..."

Collation 16:17-19. Translated from Opera omnia 5:405-6, 408.


It is a very common expectation in approved writings.

Colin Cooper said...

And last of all (apologies for writing so much again!!!!), St. Catherine of Sienna's account of this same pious expectation in the Vita (biography) of her life by Blessed Raymond of Capua, where we find a record of the following prophecy:


https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...empest&f=false


"...After she had foretold the things just described, when she was in Pisa, I said, curious to know more, "Tell me, dearest mother; but what will happen to the church after all of these disasters?"

And she answered,

"After all these tribulations and miseries, in a way beyond all human understanding, God will purify holy Church by awakening the spirit of the elect. This will lead to such an improvement in the Church of God and such a renewal in the lives of her holy pastors that at the mere thought of it my spirit exalts in the Lord.

The bride who is now ugly and Ill-clothed will then, as I have told you before, be most beautiful, adorned with precious gems, and covered with the diadem of all the virtues. All the faithful will rejoice to be honoured by such pastors, and even unbelievers, attracted by the sweet odour of Jesus Christ, will return to the Catholic fold and be converted to the true Pastor and Bishop of their souls.

Give thanks to the Lord, therefore, who after the tempest win give his Church a period of splendid calm".
...

Catherine never, never, never in public or in private affixed any times to the future events that she predicted. On the contrary, I always found her very reserved about this; and even when I questioned her about some of her statements I was never able to find out any exact times. She left everything in the hands of Divine Providence..."

Colin Cooper said...

See this as well:

Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World
edited by Barbara Newman p. 82


"...This departure from the traditional pessimism of Augustinian eschatology seems to have arisen for Hildegard as we have seen, in creative new symbolist understandings of the concordance between the Testaments.

The one most fundamental to her prophetic thought seems to have been the belief that just as there had been peace before the first coming of Christ, there would be peace before the second.

Hildegard's mature apocalyptic program...speaks most often and most lyrically about one period of future renewal she calls, "the return of the first dawn of justice". This period she foresees as the result of a terrible clerical holocaust...This advisement would leave, as she says in the Kirchheim prophecy, a few simple and devoted clergy living an eremetical life of pristine purity, but it would represent a heightened state and a new zenith of the monastic ideal..."

Colin Cooper said...

Typo above due to the auto-correct on my phone - "chastisement" not "advisement".

Sorry for the length again!

Colin Cooper said...

I've gone even further than I intended with length. But I really must point out a few prophecies of St. Hildegard referring to the Era of Peace.

Here is one where she refers to the Era of Peace, Renewal of the Church and the eschatological figure known as the Great Monarch, who in her writings is referred to as "vir praeliator" (the Warrior) in a prophetic letter to the Clergy of Trier in 1160:


"...Following this [chastisement] signs of masculine virility will show so that all the Bishops will run back to the 'first dawn of justice' with fear, modesty and wisdom. Princes will then be unanimously in concord with one another, with a Warrior raising a banner against the time of error which God will destroy according to what He knows, and as it pleases him...

Indeed a Warrior [vir praeliator] will do this, who will consider in the beginning and end of his works how far he may resist the erring people. He will constitute prophets at first as the head...with whose help for the understanding of the people he will explain prophecy. After this, all spiritual things will be strengthened without taint or defect...because the Warrior will replenish the wholesomeness of the air and will bring forth the viridity of virtue..."


In this letter, St. Hildegard prophesies the ascent to power of a Warrior or crusading hero to oversee secular government and a corps of prophets to assist him in reforming the entire world. This Warrior, she predicts, will reign during that final period of long spiritual renewal "the return to the first dawn of justice" and his wisdom, with the help of the prophets, will both spearhead and prolong this renewal.

As you can see, she predicts that all the secular princes will be in concord with each other - that is, at peace.

This narrative fits the basic schema laid out in all the other prophecies. Even St. Bonaventure prophesies "one ruler, a great defender of the Church" for his seventh age.

Thanks!

Colin Cooper said...

Finally, in her Cologne prophecy of 1163, addressed to the Church, St. Hildegard prophesied:


"...But nevertheless, as soon as they [heretics of the last days] will have been found out in the perversities of Baal and other depraved works, princes and other great ones will attack them...Then the dawn of justice will arise and your last days [the Church] will be better than your earlier ones...and you will shine like gold, and so you will remain for a long period to come..."

Colin Cooper said...

To the earlier Annonymous poster who said:


"The Triumph could be gradual or it could come rather suddenly. Benedict simply offered his opinion on this point and did not set anything in stone"


I agree! Anything is possible to God and He determines the times of everything according to His Will. It could be gradual or the result of a miracle - I don't know discount this by any means and I am open to being surprised. However, I also think that the Pope Emeritus' words are a healthy reminder that we must be cautious of lapsing into feverish expectations.

Anonymous said...

Rachmaninov said...
... Pope Benedict XVI stated the ultimate Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is the same event as the coming of the Kingdom which as the CCC says only happens after the Last Judgment."

During a Q&A at Mirjana's house in Medjugorje, I asked Mirjana what exactly IS the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Blessed Mary? (she authored "My Heart Will Triumph", highly recommended.) While I have the entire Q&A of our group on DVD, I can say from memory that part of her answer indicated she could not say too much about what it is (meaning it touches on the secrets)...she said something like, "I cannot say too much about that, but what I can say is..." and she spoke of how we will have a joyous love in our hearts, as will our fellows around us - we will all love one another with a deep understanding or such.

I think it has to do with the Second Coming. We cannot know for certain; I suspect Medjugorje has to do with the Second Coming as well, so I was not surprised at all when Mirjana could not speak much about what exactly is the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

God bless you,
Greg J. Cring

Emmett O'Regan said...

There is a quite simple formula to follow to establish the duration of the "renovatio mundi" expected in Medieval prophecy, by St. Bonaventure, etc. (i.e. the proclamation of the Eternal Gospel to the ends of the earth by the angel of the sixth seal). The restoration of all things begins with the ministry of the Elijah to come. The Elijah to come is in turn put to death by the Antichrist. Therefore the "time of great peace" expected by St. Bonaventure is of extremely short duration. He said himself that no one knew exactly how long it would last, and in my opinion, he correctly linked it to the time of peace mentioned by St. Paul, which would be suddenly interrupted by a great devastation (1Thes 5:3). The conversion of the Jews runs concurrently with the appearance of the Sign of the Son of Man and the eschatological earthquake, which takes place right at the beginning of the reign of the Antichrist. The triumph of the Church takes the form of its final Passover, as is affirmed by the Catechism - not a progressive ascendancy. This is what is seen in the Third Secret - the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary coincides with the final persecution of Christians under the Antichrist.

Anonymous said...

Fatima's "Period of Peace"

This will challenge some people's ideas about it, so an open mind is needed to process it honestly.

Our Lady's promise of "some time of peace" at Fatima:

The Fatima Message was given by Our Lady on July 13, 1917. Sr. Lucia described it as
one secret in three distinct parts, what have become known as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd secrets of Fatima.

Sr. Lucia wrote the end of the second part of the Fatima message in Portuguese as:
"...concedido ao mundo algum tempo de paz."

which translates literally to:

"...granted to the world some time of peace."

This immediately rules out the notion of an "era" of peace; "some time of" does not mean an era.

English translations of the Portuguese state it as "a PERIOD of peace," which is unfortunate because some, without looking at the original Portuguese, have further stretched "period" into an entire 'era', arguing 'period' can mean 'epoch' or 'era', as in the Jurassic Period, or Jurassic Era. But "era" by definition means an extended period of time the years of which are numbered from a fixed point or event, for example: the Christian era. The mistake of using 'period' in the original translation has been further compounded into "extended period" i.e "era". (The word 'period' in Portuguese is 'periodo' and is not found anywhere in the Portuguese written by Lucia.)

In looking at the entire Fatima message one can ascertain the use of 'era' would distort Our Lady's message into something she did not say or mean. Our Lady speaks with precision, as she is the Mother of God and says exactly what God wants us to hear. Likewise, one must exercise precision with Our Lady's words so as to understand what she is telling us.

The last sentence of the second part of the Fatima message can be accurately stated:
"The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and the world will be granted some time of peace."

In looking at the Fatima message in simple binary terms as relates to Russia, Our Lady indicated Russia would be the cause of much suffering, sorrow, and wars in the world, and this would continue until the Consecration. But once the consecration was done, she promised 'some time of peace' would be granted the world. That is precisely what happened. After the Consecration, the conflict with Russia ended and the world was granted what many commentators called the "peace dividend" - i.e. the West could now stop spending so much on weaponry to contain Russia, and spend on peace projects to better the world.

Anyone who lived through that time, sometimes called the Cold War, can relate - we expected at any moment for Russian nukes to rain down on the world. Russian actions and US/NATO counteractions throughout the world led each night's evening news broadcasts for years, be it Korea, Vietnam, issues at the Berlin Wall, the Prague Spring and on and on. It seemed one misstep and the world would end in nuclear conflagration; it was as if both sides were tiptoeing on egg shells with Russia constantly pushing boundaries to expand its evil empire, exploiting any weaknesses in Western resolve. Who can forget as late as 1980 Russia surprising the West yet again with is invasion of Afghanistan. Each day of those times of the Cold War was tense and when it ended the sense of relief was palpable, as if everyone worldwide breathed a sign of relief.

After decades of conflict and tension with a nuclear-armed Russia, the world was finally granted "some time of peace" because the Holy Father consecrated Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart on March 25, 1984, leading to the rapid collapse of atheistic Russian communism.

Those who say Our Lady of Fatima spoke of an 'era' of peace are mistaken.

God bless you,
Greg J. Cring

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
The quote is from a general audience of Sept 4, 2002: "For this reason, in a special way let us Christians welcome the prophet's appeal and seek to lay the foundations of the civilization of love and peace in which there will be no more war, "and death will be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor pain any more for the former things have passed away" (Apoc 21,4)."
Also in regards to St Hildegard, you left out the crucial part of vision 10:26 where immediately after the passage you describe, she says "at this same time[thats vital], however, so many false teachings and false deeds will arise along with other misdeeds-as a sign of the imminent arrival of the Antichrist-that people will claim that never before have there been such crimes or such iniquities as then". So Hildegard does not go along with the idea that there is a seperate era of peace as you describe, but that these two pola opposites occur at the same time. The five furious epochs described by God to her show no era of peace before the end of the world- and also it should be noted God the Father says we a re already in the seventh day of rest-in a interpretation of the millennium that is the same as St. Augustine.
Greg, on your point which I agree with, interesting today at the end of Pope Francis' general audience he spoke of Fatima and drew attention to Mary guiding us to a new world and new humanity. Yet more evidence from these succesive popes that Fatima ultimately relates to the coming of the Kingdom at the end of the world and the establishment of the new transfigured universe.

Rachmaninov said...

And of course that ties in perfectly with the approved revelations talking about preparations for the final coming of Jesus

Mark L said...


I agree with you, Greg.

As I've mentioned before, those who deny we haven't had the promised period of peace from the Soviet Union's scourge in the world are effectively denying the Holy Spirit's action in its startling and complete collapse in a few short years from the world stage shortly after the consecration by St. John Paul II. That timeline, for those who didn't live through it:

https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/fatimaconsecration.htm

The Spirit can clearly be seen in history. To say the Spirit didn't act as promised by Mary through the Consecration to completely collapse the Soviet Union practically overnight is akin to saying the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt wasn't the promised fulfillment of our Lord. To explain the events from 1984 to 1991 in purely secular terms would indeed be an offense to faith, in my opinion.

That's not to suggest the fulfillment is not yet totally realized. Who are we to say? Nor, in my view, ought we to hang the entirety of its outcome purely on Pope Ratzinger's famous statement, of which he himself tried to correct our faulty interpretation, to greater or lesser success.

I also agree that there doesn't have to be a long unwinding of events. There most certainly have been many seismic and sudden events within salvation history - beginning again with the liberation from Egypt, the collapse of the Canaanites, the establishment of the monarchy, the collapse of that monarchy, the disappearance of the Northern and Southern kingdoms, the destruction of the Temple by Rome - we could go on and on about salvation history proving that dramatic events do not always take a century or even a decade to unfold. They can happen practically overnight. And all of those things were before the radio, not to mention the instantaneous lives we live today, when the whole world can catch fire through a Tweet.

On top of that, we have the current Pontiff not being shy about speaking of the "rapidification" of events (his encyclical uses that term). Even a few days ago he talked about the crisis of the earth, how we have reached a "tipping point" and how events are unfolding remarkably fast.

I dislike the reading of approved private revelations in terms of decades or centuries. At some point you start losing your audience. Especially in our current times, when our attention span is close to nil. At some point, even the devout will say: "Ok, nothing to see here. Let's get back to life as usual and live the normal Christian message of 'Be ready at all times.'"

Mark L.

Colin Cooper said...

Hello again Rachmaninov,

Thank you for the reply!

Firstly an encyclical, as you know, is of far higher doctrinal authority than a General Audience Address and in his second 1980 Encyclical "Dives in misericordia" (Latin: Rich in Mercy), St. JPII uses this phrase 'civilization of love's for what is, I believe, the first time in a magisterial text and gives its definition thus:


"...If Paul VI more than once indicated the civilization of love"125 as the goal towards which all efforts in the cultural and social fields as well as in the economic and political fields should tend, it must be added that this good will never be reached if in our thinking and acting concerning the vast and complex spheres of human society we stop at the criterion of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth"126 and do not try to transform it in its essence, by complementing it with another spirit.

Certainly, the Second Vatican Council also leads us in this direction, when it speaks repeatedly of the need to make the world more human,127 and says that the realization of this task is precisely the mission of the Church in the modern world. Society can become ever more human only if we introduce into the many-sided setting of interpersonal and social relationships, not merely justice, but also that "merciful love" which constitutes the messianic message of the Gospel..."


So if you are trying to tell me that he used it in a purely eschatological sense to refer to the World to Come, then you are simply in error my friend. His primary usage of the term was in relation, as he states above, to the civilization being "the goal towards which all efforts in the cultural and social fields as well as in the economic and political fields should tend".

I'm glad that you provided the reference, however. I agree with you that in this singular instance - contrary to how he had employed the term in the talks I referenced - he does seem to relate the "civilization" to the New Heavens and Earth. Nonetheless, he expressly related it to earthly realities elsewhere, so he must have used this phrase in different contexts.

I don't see the two as radically apposite. Just as an individual can experience a foretaste of heaven in this life through Union with God but not unmediated access to the Beatific Vision which comes in the next, I see no reason why the human race as a whole cannot "build the foundations of a civilization of love" in this world which will find its true, lasting and transcendent fulfilment after the Final Judgement.

As I have reiterated ad nauseum, the period of peace may last for only a single generation as Emmett argues and by any accounts will not be a fulfilment of history within history, a perfect social order where man finds his ultimate happiness. As you know, that is impossible this side of the Eschaton. Our true home is in the City of God, our true citizenship is citizenship of heaven.

Colin Cooper said...

Now, on this point, you said something earlier regarding the Kingdom of God. I would like to draw your attention to this section of the Vatican II constitution 'Gaudium et Spes', no. 39:


"Therefore, while we are warned that it profits a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose himself, the expectation of a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one. For here grows the body of a new human family, a body which even now is able to give some kind of foreshadowing of the new age. Hence, while earthly progress must be carefully distinguished from the growth of Christ’s kingdom, to the extent that the former can contribute to the better ordering of human society, it is of vital concern to the Kingdom of God.

«For after we have obeyed the Lord, and in His Spirit nurtured on earth the values of human dignity, brotherhood and freedom, and indeed all the good fruits of our nature and enterprise, we will find them again, but freed of stain, burnished and transfigured, when Christ hands over to the Father  : “ a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace. ” On this earth that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower. .." (no 39)

I am arguing exactly the same as the Council Fathers above in relation to the "civilization of love" which is the same as Pope Pius XI's "Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ" as predicted and explained in the encyclical Qua Primas.

There is no conflict, therefore, between the "civilization of love" being a partial, limited, shadowy reality on this earth as we "peer through a glass darkly" and coming into full bloom in the next world.

Colin Cooper said...

Now, back to St. Hildegard of Bingen.

Let me ask you a question to start off: Does St. Hildegard prophesy a future time when reformed clergy will announce a new dawn of justice and secular princes will unite together beneath the "banner of harmony" before the coming of Antichrist and Second Coming of Christ? Yes, or no?

If you reply "yes" to this (and you should because she does), then I do not understand why you appear to be taking exception with what I am arguing here. Obviously, the seeds of the Antichrist's coming will take root during this era, as it stagnates but it is still a distinct phase from the Final Persecution when Antichrist is fully manifested once the Katechon (whom I take to be the "Warrior Prince" she speaks of, or the Great Monarch as he is later called), is taken out of the way.

She actually amended her original five future epochs of the Church in the Scivias, in her final visionary work from which I quoted earlier, The Book of Divine Works. That latter work contains her most detailed apocalyptic program.

The eschatological schema of "(1) minor tribulation, (2) period of peace and Springtime for the Church, (3) Advent of Antichrist and then (4) Eschaton" is a venerable and widespread one in the Church's tradition and approved private revelation.

I see no good reason to question it.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. New theories crop up all the time but the tried and tested is more trustworthy.

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
You have your agenda thats fine.
I know the Book of Divine Works well as I used it in "Heralds of the Second Coming". All I can say is she stated very clearly in it that apostasy and terrible evil would occur "at the same time" as the blossoming of holiness" and that evil would be such as to herald the imminent arrival of the Antichrist. I would not say in the slighteste she amended what was in Scivias (bearing in mind Scivias was given her by the Lord so how could he "correct" himself!) What did happen was the Liber Divinorum Operum enlarged and deepen the visions she was shown years before in Scivias.
If you want to hold the civilization of love theory you do thats fine with me. I just think having studied papal writings for many many years, that there is a great difference between hoping that nations will unite and work towards a better future for all, and the reality that JP II once stated in reference to the Book of Revelation that shows an acceleration and spiral of evil the closer we get to the end

Colin Cooper said...

Rachmaninov,

I think that's a little uncharitable. I do not have any "agenda".

Like you, I have spent years studying private revelations and the Papal Magisterium and have arrived at my own understanding of what is being intimated about the "signs of the times".

This may differ from yours but that is fine. We are all fallible human beings gazing through a glass darkly.

I would be happy to go on discussing St. Hildegard and how her visionary schema developed with time to encompass an enhanced understanding of the future, as she saw it.

Private revelations are mediated through the minds of fallible human beings. They are not flawless revelations like the Gospel words of Our Lord and the deposit of Faith. As such, it is perfectly fine for Hildegard to have amended her earlier writings in light of subsequent visions bad prayerful understanding - and th st she did.

Colin Cooper said...

Something for all of us to reflect upon as we discuss eschatology:


"...All men, then, should [...] be joined in mutual and just regard for one another's opinions...For discussion can lead to fuller and deeper understanding of religious truths; when one idea strikes against another, there may be a spark..."

- Pope Saint John XXIII, AD PETRI CATHEDRAM (On Truth, Unity and Peace), 1959


Through a meeting of minds we can each enhance our understanding better than we ever could in isolation.

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
I do apologise.
I didnt mean it to sound like that. I just meant your take on things.
I fully respect your own very thorough research in this area which is of course very beneficial to the discussion here. I am sure I speak for us all when I say that. We are all trying hard to discern the signs of the times and all have the ultimate goal of ensuring we stay awake watching and praying. I fully endorse your last post!
God bless
Stephen

Colin Cooper said...

Stephen,

No worries my friend, I heartily concur with the sentiment in your above post. No need to apologise.

God Bless,

Colin

Anonymous said...

Emmett,

The Third Secret does not mention then Antichrist nor is the Antichrist implied. You are adding things to the Secret which are not there. But I do agree with much of what you have said here.

Also, the suggestion that the era of peace is synonymous with the new heavens and new earth is not correct. The new heavens and new earth is eternal. A period of peace is temporal.

Rachmaninov said...

Anon,
In a letter Cardinal Ratinnger wrote to Bishop Pavel Hnilic in Sept 2000, (responding to the Bishop's question about does the 3 rd secret still lie in the future to some extent), Cardinal Ratzinger said the persecution seen in the vision is that until the "end of the world" Therefore that obviously includes the final persecution of the Antichrist

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks Stephen!

Anon,
The Third Secret is a visual representation of the Church's ascent of Mount Calvary. The Catechism affirms that this final Passover of the Church is one and the same as the persecution of the Antichrist:

Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. the supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.
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.
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.579 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world. (CCC 675-677)

Colin Cooper said...

Emmett and Stephen,

If I could just briefly go over what St. Hildegard predicted about the future ages of the Church in her Letters and Book of Divine Works, to explain what I was saying earlier. She did amend the Five Ages or "beasts" of her Scivias but she didn't remove the basic five-age-schema.


She wrote:

"...and because peace before the Day of Judgement to these Christians may be given, just as indeed peace came before the first advent of the Son of God, nevertheless, for fear of the judgement to come, they will not be able to rejoice fully, but will seek all justice in the catholic faith from the Omnipotent God, rejoicing with the Jews who formerly denied Christ. That peace which preceded the advent of Christ, in these days will be fully perfected because strong men will arise then in great prophecy so that all the buds of justice in the sons and daughters of men will flourish..." (c. 1020D)


So it firstly has to be understood that she categorically did expect a period of peace at the b"end of the Age of the Pale Horse, following a tribulation that started as a result of disorder at the end of the Age of the Lion, that would end in chaos in the last age before Antichrist, that of the Black Pig in which Antichrust rises, and usher in the final age of the Grey Wolf in which Antichrist reigns.

I've composed an easy-to-understand schema of how she sets this out:


3. Age of the Pale Horse

Time of sorrows horse --Church polluted
--persecution of Christians by heathens
--Papacy and Empire dispersed
--Christians saved by miracle and conversion of heathens
--Church returns to pristine discipline
--renewal of spiritual strength again revealed through prophecy, abundance and peace

4. Age of the Black Pig

Reign of heretics and forerunners of Antichrist pig
--many Christians desert orthodoxy
--moral decay and spiritual decline
--signs of the End grey

5. Antichrist's "ministry" wolf
--Great Persecution


This was Hildegard's last and complete vision of the End Times.

We are in the phase of the minor tribulation after the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire (between 1806-1917) and temporal rule of the Papacy (1870s) and before her era of great peace that precedes the "rebellion" of the Age of the Black Pig that paves the way for the Reign of the Antichrist in the Age of the Grey Wolf.

I hope this is helpful,

Colin

Emmett O'Regan said...

Colin,

In the epilogue to his Heralds of the Second Coming, Stephen presents what is, in my opinion at least, the best interpretation of St. Hildegard's five ferocious epochs. I highly recommend it.

Colin Cooper said...

Hi Emmett,

I've never read his Book but will certainly look it up and read the epilogue, thanks!

Colin Cooper said...

Oh, just to add for reference's sake (in case anybody reading this thread would like to look them up), my earlier quotation on the peace came from the following sections of the Book of Divine Works:

Part III, Vision 5: Divine Love upon the Wheel: Eternity and History; chapters 16-17 and chapters 24-26.

The chapter summaries (capitula) for these sections - which come before the chapter and explain its contents and weew composed sometime in the decade after the work’s completion, likely by one of Hildegard’s close secretaries - are as follows:


Chapter 15 - Justice, moral integrity, and the dignity of the virtues grew stronger through the prophets from the days of the flood until the Lord’s coming, and then they gleamed for a long time in the Church through the apostles and teachers—but though now they are corrupted, after these days that languish in injustice, they will again be reformed among people before the end and after many tribulations.


Chapter 16. For when the heavenly Judge once receives Justice’s complaint, he will bring his vengeance upon the transgressors of equity, and in particular upon the wicked leaders of the Church through many disastrous judgments, until, purged by penitence in the trial they have earned, they recover their senses; and thus each rank will be restored to uprightness and returned to the honor of its dignity.


Chapter 17: When the ordinance of justice and peace has been settled by God’s vengeance and the correction of transgressors, tranquility will gleam before the Lord’s second coming just as it had before his first, and some part even of the Jews will be converted and will rejoice and confess that he has come whom now they deny. (My earlier quote on the peace is from this chapter)


Chapter 27 - Because of the restoration of Justice, the various ranks of the Church will enjoy for in the next-to-last days both a great plenty of temporal things and a great abundance of spiritual goods, while that portion of the Jews and heretics who persist in evil will exult with pernicious presumption at the Antichrist’s impending arrival.

Chapter 21 - But because people attribute this quiet peacetime and fruitful abundance to themselves and not to God and meet once more with lethargy when it comes to religion, so many tribulations will again follow as have never before seethed within the world.

....

Chapter 24 - For in that time, when the Christian people has been driven to repentance and exhausted by many afflictions for their sins, divine grace will come to their aid through many miracles, just as it once did for God’s people of old; and after their enemies are subdued, it will join a great multitude of the pagans to their faith.


Chapter 25 - In those days, as the Roman Emperors fall away from their pristine strength, the imperial power in their hands will over a time diminish and fail, and even the mitre of the apostolic office will be divided, and in each place different prelates and archbishops will be put into place.


Chapter 26 - Again, in that time, after wickedness has been put down and justice revived, honorable discipline and the laws of ancient customs will spring forth anew and be observed, and there will be many prophets and the hidden things of the Scriptures will lie open to the wise—nevertheless, everywhere heresies will then bubble up to declare that the Antichrist’s coming is near.


Colin Cooper said...

Typo above - chapter 20, not chapter 27. I'm writing all of this quickly so apologies for any spelling errors!

Rachmaninov said...

Thanks Guys!
At Christmas, my youngest daughter received a book by Pope Francis for children. Its a compilation of questions children wrote to him from around the world. Pope Francis answered a good selection. One was from a 10 year old boy called Mohammed. He asked "will the world be again as it was in the past?" Pope Francis immediately refers to the second coming and its aftermath. I found it very noticeable that he didnt say anything about any expectation that a time is coming before the end that will answer Mohammnd's question. He stated "When he returns everything will be new.. it will be far better than the past"...It will be transfigured- completely transformed by the presence of God". Personally, I would have thought Pope Francis would have definitely wanted to give Mohammed hope if there was good reason to hope for something this side of eternity. It would certainly seem to put the nail in on the Kingdom of the Divine Will for sure

Colin Cooper said...

I'm personally very sceptical of the Divine Will movement (to which I think your referring above).

It's a little Joachim-of-Fiore-like-for-me. I have theological issues with it.

Interesting story though. To be fair, our attention should be upon the Second Coming and the true Peace in Eternity with the Beatific Vision/Resurrection of the Dead. That's our ultimate, transcendent vocation.

Perhaps the Holy Father simply directed Muhammad where his and all of our ultimate attentions should be.

I haven't read it of course so I'm only guessing!

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
Ive lost you on Bk III Vision 5. are you sure you have the correct citation there because in the Book of Divine Works (Ed. Matthew Fox) vision 5 is book 2. Unless I am missing something.
Ive gone back over BK III vision 10: 26-27, and still maintain that Hildegard says these two events happen at the same time: "And all these things will take place in such purity and truthfulness that the spirits of the air will be no longer be able to ridicule the sons and daughters...at the same time however, so many false teachings and false deeds will arise along with other misdeeds-as a sign of the imminent arrival of the Antichrist-that people in these days will claim that never before have there been such crimes or such iniquities as then".
So I would have real difficulty from reading that text to say that what she is describing as a general era of peace (as I believe you understand it) can happen while she is also stressing that at the same time things are so evil that the antichrist is on the doorstep so to speak. I think what is being proposed here is that the graces God is giving in these evil times she is describing are such that many very great saints will be produced in the midst of an evil apostasy. I think St Louis de Montfort said soemthing similar about the end times. I dont see have we can get around the phrase "at the same time"

Colin Cooper said...

Hello Rachmaninov,

I am using a different translation from you!

I checked your Matthew Fox edition and you need to go to Part III Vision 10. It's listed as Vision 5 in my edition. The chapters are all identical to my edition above, though.

See, for instance, Fox's translation of Vision 10: 17. It states, as my translation did above:

"...Then so many new and unknown arrangements with respect to order and peace will occur that people will be amazed and talk about them. For such things have not in the

And since Peace is given to them before the Day of Judgement, just as a period of peace came quickly before the first coming of the Son of God, they will not be able to rejoice fully because of their fear of the judgement that is to come.

Instead they will petition Almighty God to grant the fullness of justice in the Catholic Faith. Jews, too, will rejoice and say that he whose coming they denied is already here. The period of peace that preceded the first coming of the incarnate Son of God will be totally and utterly realized in those days.

Then brave men full of the gift of prophecy will arise so that in this time every seed of justice will come to flower among the sons and daughters of the human species..."


Then in Chapter 20 of this Vision she states - again in your translation:


"...In these days sweet clouds will touch the Earth with a gentle breeze and cause the Earth to overflow with the power of greenness and fertility. Then people will prepare themselves completely for justice....The Princes and everyone else will put God's decrees into proper practice. They will forbid all weapons used to kill people and only tolerate such iron tools as are need in farming and for the benefit of humanity..."


World peace, abolition of war.


Do the same for the other chapters I listed above and you will see that the summaries - written by a disciple of Hildegard with her approval - correct my describe the contents of each chapter of the Vision.

Colin Cooper said...

As can be seen from the above, St. Hildegard very clearly prophesises a period of conversion and peace before the Second Coming, arguing that just as a temporal peace reigned in the world through the Roman Empire at the time of the First Advent of the Son of God, so a period of peace - involving a great renewal of the Church, conversion of Jews and heathens etc. - must precede our Lord's Second Advent.

That is what she argues.

Dante Alighieri actually argued something very similar just a century later in his De Monarchia. See:


http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2196


CHAPTER XVI: Christ willed to be born in the fullness of time when Augustus was Monarch


"....the Son of God, when about to become man for the salvation of man, either awaited, or ordained at such time as He willed...we shall find no perfect Monarchy, nor the world everywhere at peace, save under the divine Monarch Augustus.3 That [61] men were then blessed with the tranquillity of universal peace all historians testify, and all illustrious poets; this the writer of the gentleness of Christ4 felt it meet to confirm, and last of all Paul, who called that most happy condition “the fulness of the time.”...

Now Christ willed to be born of a Virgin Mother under an edict of Roman authority, according to the testimony of Luke..."




So both he and St. Hildergard, among others, contended that there must be a sort of synergy in this regard prior to the two Advents of Jesus

Colin Cooper said...

As to why a temporal peace is seemingly involved both prior to the First and Second Advents for the purpose of the spreading of the Gospel, consider this earlier argument by the great ecclesiastical writer and church father Origen:


"...For righteousness has arisen in His days, and there is abundance of peace, which took its commencement at His birth, God preparing the nations for His teaching, that they might be under one prince, the king of the Romans, and that it might not, owing to the want of union among the nations, caused by the existence of many kingdoms, be more difficult for the apostles of Jesus to accomplish the task enjoined upon them by their Master, when He said, "Go and teach all nations."

Moreover it is certain that Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus, who, so to speak, fused together into one monarchy the many populations of the earth. Now the existence of many kingdoms would have been a hindrance to the spread of the doctrine of Jesus throughout the entire world; not only for the reasons mentioned, but also on account of the necessity of men everywhere engaging in war, and fighting on behalf of their native country, which was the case before the times of Augustus, and in periods still more remote,...

How, then, was it possible for the Gospel doctrine of peace, which does not permit men to take vengeance even upon enemies, to prevail throughout the world, unless at the advent of Jesus a milder spirit had been everywhere introduced into the conduct of things?..."


As before the First Advent, so before for the Second - for the evangelization of the entire planet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Colin, for citing Origen. I had never heard that statement before. The Church Fathers are full of surprises.

Anonymous said...

Emmett, do we know the day and month in 1917 that Satan's 100 year period of greater power began? Perhaps I missed it in your article above.

Anonymous said...

Reading Origen above, the thought occurred to me just now that what he wrote of the peace of Augustus - the Pax Romana - being necessary as a help for the evangelization of the world seems reasonable.

But the other, that likewise a peace, another Pax Romana so to speak, would descend on the world prior to the Second Coming so as to aid in the evangelization of the world, does not seem reasonable, because prior to the Second Coming the world would already be evangelized, for the most part. Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matt 24:14)
Also Rev 20:8 says Satan and his forces "will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth" during his short time of release - implying the nations have been evangelized - that there are people in the nations of the world who are Christians - members of the City of God.

If anything it seems things will go in reverse at the end - first the world will be evangelized (as Jesus said in Matthew 24), then due to Satan's extended power it will devolve into apostasy, the great falling away (per St. Paul), and more and more towards disbelief and the chaos and confusion of Satan, with more and more tribulation and persecution and scoffing at Christians, the wheat and the chaff existing side by side until the Final Judgement.

The Church Fathers and early followers of Christ did not get everything right, nor did or do mystics and visionaries, who suffer from the intrusion of personal ideas into their locutions and visions (as in what the Church said of the good Fr. Gobbi).

So I cannot give Origen's rationalizing there would be a second peace because there was the first peace period too much credence - no two thumbs up for that one.
(of course it does not mean there won't be)

Of course on that "peace and security" of St. Paul, he could very well be referring to the 'some time of peace' of Fatima, which is the peace we have right now. Compared to the violence of the two world wars with millions of casualties, what we have right now are small skirmishes so the West is in a relatively long 'peace' period beginning with the end of the Cold War. Everyone does feel secure in the US, Europe, and Japan. Nobody can imagine a war on a worldwide scale coming upon us, or the end of this present world happening at this time. So we are in a sense in a time of 'peace and security'. But since Our Lady said 'some time of peace', I don't expect it to last anywhere close to a century. I personally think the 'peace' lasts about 33 years, starting around 1984 with the Consecration and running to late 2017 or thereabouts. I have some other ideas for time frames, but that is the most prevalent one (at least until 2017 ends :-) )

God bless you,
Greg J. Cring

Colin Cooper said...

Hello Craig,

Thanks for your post!

As you can see, St. Hildegard and St. Bonaventure both anticipated a period of peace before the Antichrist and Eschaton - with the former, St. Hildegard, explicitly equating it with the earlier Pax Romana that preceded the First Advent of Jesus.

The private revelations of a wide variety of approved saints consistently claim that the Great Commission of Jesus will be especially fulfilled before the End in the form of a great, final evangelization of the world in which the fullness of the Gentiles come into the Church. This is sometimes paired with the conversion of the Jews and sometimes described as a separate event prior. It is a very dominant refrain in the tradition.

One does not, of course, have to accept this idea since it comes from private revelation and is merely an interpretation of public revelation. It is known sometimes by name 'Second Pentecost'. I quoted from the Vita of St. Catherine of Siena earlier by Blessed Raymond of Capua her version of this prophecy of a final Pentecost.

St. Hildegard's prediction of peace certainly cannot be equated with the present era. As you will note in the above, she states that according to her Vision,

"Then so many new and unknown arrangements with respect to order and peace will occur that people will be amazed and talk about them. For such things have not in the past been heard of or known.

And because peace before the Day of Judgement to these Christians may be given, just as indeed peace came before the first advent of the Son of God...they will seek all justice in the Catholic Faith from the Omnipotent God, rejoicing with the Jews who formerly denied Christ. That peace which preceded the advent of Christ, in these days will be fully perfected because strong men will arise then in great prophecy so that all the buds of justice in the sons and daughters of men will flourish...

The Princes and everyone else will put God's decrees into proper practice. They will forbid all weapons used to kill people and only tolerate such iron tools as are needed in farming and for the benefit of humanity. Those who disobey this command will be killed and cast away in some remote place".


This has never occured in the entire scope of human history thus far, hence why the Saint refers to it as something new and seemingly unheard of. However, the Second Vatican Council in Gaudium et Spes explicitly looks forward to such a time:


"...But insofar as men vanquish sin by a union of love, they will vanquish violence as well and make these words come true: "They shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4)...

It is our clear duty, therefore, to strain every muscle in working for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all and endowed with the power to safeguard on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights. But before this hoped for authority can be set up..."


St. Hildegard prophesied the coming of a time when this conciliar vision has been fulfilled and all the armaments of war, every weapon intended to do violence to other human beings, has been outlawed by the Princes (secular rulers) of the Earth.

Why would an Ecumenical Council make such a statement with regards to the modern world?

As to your statements on great decline before the End - that's perfectly true! The peace stagnates into the Rebellion after the removal of the Katechon and then the Reign of Anrichrist.

Colin Cooper said...

Apologies, I meant to call you Greg Cring - my auto correct function changed it to Craig!

Colin Cooper said...

Related to this, in 1872 Pope Bl. Pius IX authorised the publication of an Elementary Course text on Scholastic philosophy that also called for the formation of Society of Nations to outlaw war:


"...Elementary Course

of

CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY

Based on the Principles of
the Best Scholastic Authors

Adapted from the French of
Brother Louis of Poissy

by

The Brothers of the Christian Schools

Nihil Obstat.
D. J. McMAHON, D.D.

Imprimatur.
+ MICHAEL AUGUSTINE,
ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK


Brief of Our Holy Father, Pope Pius IX...

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, March 18, 1876, in the thirtieth year of Our Pontificate.

PIUS IX., POPE...


Chapter IV. The Society of Nations.

118. The nations are destined by nature to unite under a new and more extended form of society. -- The nations, finding themselves in contact with one another, are obliged to aspire to a common good, which consists in order; it is, therefore, the design of nature that they form a universal society. The same conclusion is drawn from the need which nations experience of associating for their material, intellectual, and moral development...


121. The associated nations should apply themselves to the gradual formation of a government endowed in the highest degree with unity and efficacy; and this government should have threefold power, legislative, executive, and judiciary. -- The government of this universal society should possess the conditions of all government. The more it is one and efficacious, the more will harmony reign among the nations. If all international controversies and all the abuses of power by those who govern could legitimately be summoned to its tribunal, there would soon be an end of all international or civil war..."

Colin Cooper said...

Greg,

Consider St. Hildegard's comments in Vision 10 (or 5 as it is my edition) Chapter 21:


But because people attribute this quiet peacetime and fruitful abundance to themselves and not to God and meet once more with lethargy when it comes to religion, so many tribulations will again follow as have never before seethed within the world


"...And just as clouds led down a mild rain suitable for the germination of seeds, the Holy Spirit will pour forth the dew of grace, along with wisdom, prophecy and holiness, upon people so that, just as if turned around, they will lead different and good lives...

[But it becomes] a time of decadence, of bold pleasures and vanities that always spring up when we humans doze away in a kind of lazy peace and are smothered by too many possessions. This is because we are no longer disturbed by conflicts or restrained by a lack of food. In view of our enjoyment of such luxuries, we do not wish to show God the honour we owe to the Deity for all these things. Therefore, such dangers as we have never known will follow this time of rest and comfort...Indeed torment upon torment and injustice upon injustice will accumulate. At any moment murder and death will be planned for no reason at all...All this is an indication of the coming of the Antichrist..."


As you can see, it stagnates very profoundly to ultimately make way for increasing disorder leading up to the Final Persecution.

World peace begins with the best of Christian intentions, a Springtime of the Church and mass evangelization but ultimately leads to an even greater corruption in human society, since the abolition of warfare leads mankind to become lax in morals once again and attribute the peace to human artifice rather than to God.

The Peace ultimately becomes the event that makes way for the Great Apostasy. It is a paradox.

Colin Cooper said...

St. Hildebrand gives multiple conditions for her "peace" above that have not been fulfilled yet, implying that - if her visions be recognised as in any sense accurate - this period must still lie in our future:


(1) Complete abolition of war by a congress of all the secular rulers of the world - all weapons of war (guns, swords, bombs etc.) are illegal to be held. No implement that can be used to do violence to another human being is permitted

(2) Springtime of the Church and mass conversion of non-Christians

(3) Jews come into the Church and embrace Christ

(4) The Earth and creation, which before had been "in the elements, harmed by the sins of men and women" and "totally fallen into the service of disorder" according to St. Hildegard will "overflow with the power of greenness and fertility," an environmentalist's dream.

(6) There will be "a great plenty of temporal things and a great abundance of spiritual goods" such that no human being will be hungry or lack food.

(5) Most people will live thoroughly moral and up right lives

(7) "brave men full of the gift of prophecy will arise so that in this time every seed of justice will come to flower among the sons and daughters of the human species"


The fact that Pope Francis had to promulgate an encyclical on our misuse and abuse of the environment, Laudato Si, tells us that we are far from the environmentalist condition at the moment.

Since 1991, when the Soviet Union fell, we have had brutal genocides in Bosnia, Darfur and other places.

In Africa and other regions of the developing world, poverty and world hunger are as fierce as they ever have been.

In other words, St. Hildegard's prophecies in this regard have not come to pass. They must lie in our future.

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
The issue I have with your interpretation is that in Bk III vision 10, Hildegard still keeps a strict chronological order of these epochs, and what you describe above relates to the epoch of the Lion. In my appendix of Heralds, I related this to the birth of the great monastic figures Bonaventure, and especially Francis of Assisi and the birth of the great mendicant orders. There is a passage from Pope Benedict where although he doesnt relate them to Hildegard's epochs, he seems to stress the same huge mystical transformation brought about through these luminous figures and their influence in the following period. I would also recall the theological proposition of Hans von Balthasar who said that the book of revelation shows the continual ebb and flow of this battle between good and evil. Sometimes one gets the upper hand, and then the other-notice how Hildegard says referiing to the epoch of the Lion "None of these things will be able to maintain itself for long [evil or justice and piety]. And also in the epoch we were discussing the other day (the pig) its the same: great holiness but at the same time evil on a scale never seen before.
I would also mention that in the time of the Lion, St. Vincent Ferrer was preaching in fiery language about the coming final judgment. The eschatological tension is always present from the time of St. Paul to the present day.
Stephen

Rachmaninov said...

I think also we need to keep in mind the symbolic nature of her revelations. They are shrouded in Old testament language, therefore I don't think (apart from the two pin point accurate prophecies about the holy Roman Empire and the loss of the papal states) we can say with confidence what you are proposing, otherwise, to me it starts to sound very much like the spiritual millennium. The entire idea of a civilization of love in its most complete form cannot possibly happen this side of eternity -simply because the popes have rules it out, as does Gaudium et Spes 37 which states: "For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested." That's contrary to a civilization of love before the second coming.

Anonymous said...

Yes Colin.
My point against Origen second peace time was again more related to 'era of peace' versus 'some time of peace', whereby I am saying the short (some time of) peace could very well be that peace of 'peace and security' - some would argue we are not at peace but I would argue we ARE at peace as of 1984 relative to the previous decades of the century. This could be said to be the 'peace' we are in now, and have been since the Consecration. Note that short time of 'peace' as of 1984 corresponds to the apparition of Medjugorje, the second part and continuation of Fatima whereby the Queen of PEACE has come to call us one last time back to God.

Note well how Our Lady at Medjugorje said precisely what you write, "The West has made civilization progress, but without God, as if they were their own creators," and she speaks of unprecedented tribulations to come if man does not turn back, and this aligns with your quote immediately below, where you write:
"But because people attribute this quiet peacetime and fruitful abundance to themselves and not to God and meet once more with lethargy when it comes to religion, so many tribulations will again follow as have never before seethed within the world"

This too aligns with and in fact describes the fruit of conversions at Medjugorje, where Our Lady says this is a special time of Grace, and to seek the Holy Spirit at this time:
"...And just as clouds led down a mild rain suitable for the germination of seeds, the Holy Spirit will pour forth the dew of grace, along with wisdom, prophecy and holiness, upon people so that, just as if turned around, they will lead different and good lives..."


Precisely aligns with our time right now:
"[But it becomes] a time of decadence, of bold pleasures and vanities that always spring up when we humans doze away in a kind of lazy peace and are smothered by too many possessions. This is because we are no longer disturbed by conflicts or restrained by a lack of food. In view of our enjoyment of such luxuries, we do not wish to show God the honour we owe to the Deity for all these things. Therefore, such dangers as we have never known will follow this time of rest and comfort...Indeed torment upon torment and injustice upon injustice will accumulate. At any moment murder and death will be planned for no reason at all...All this is an indication of the coming of the Antichrist..."

And finally you write:
"As you can see, it stagnates very profoundly to ultimately make way for increasing disorder leading up to the Final Persecution.
World peace begins with the best of Christian intentions, a Springtime of the Church and mass evangelization but ultimately leads to an even greater corruption in human society, since the abolition of warfare leads mankind to become lax in morals once again and attribute the peace to human artifice rather than to God.
The Peace ultimately becomes the event that makes way for the Great Apostasy. It is a paradox."

I would argue that it is not conclusive that it is Peace per se that is the root cause of the laxity and moral disorder. Does that man can never have peace in this world lest it pull him away from God, thus condemning man of this present earth to nothing but war forever lest he turn away from God? Does it mean war is more preferable to peace since it keeps man close to God?

No.

Our Lady of Fatima said Russia would spread her errors, and Jesus later said the Consecration would be done, but late, so that Russia will have already spread her errors to the world. The major error is one of persecution of God's people, but also of forced atheism, of man exalting himself over God, of man doing away with a need for a God. So Satan is the root cause, once again just as in the Garden, the great deceiver, of man's offending God. The peace reinforces for man those errors planted via Satan's atheistic Russia - it makes it palatable for man to accept the error that man does not need a God.

God bless,
Greg J. Cring

Colin Cooper said...

Hello again Stephen,

I was expecting you would bring up the chronology issue! Good point.

Scholars - the ones I have studied - have interpreted her chronology in these visions in different ways.

If it is read sequentially, the Period of Peace comes in the Age of the Lion and then another renewal/peace comes in the Age of the Pale Horse. Many scholars, such as Marjorie Reeves and Bernard McGinn, have therefore argued that Hildegard predicted two eras of renewal preceded by tribulation and followed by decline before the Coming of Antichrist.

Others, have interpreted her as not being strictly sequential. You will note that at points she stops to say prayers and move onto other matters. In this understanding, there is one period of peace being discussed alongside the different tribulations.

Alternatively, I suppose, one can understand her as predicting a peace in the Age of the Lion and then a divine intervention behalf of the suffering saints concomitant with the Rise of Antichrist.

Regardless of the approach one takes, what is apparent is that Hildegard relates the Peace I mentioned to the Pax Romana before the First Advent of Christ and says that it perfect it.

You make an excellent point regarding the ebb and flow of the battle between good and evil. I agree with you here, that is definitely a theme in the Book of Divine Works.

In terms of St. Francis and St. Bonaventure, Ratzinger (as he was then) made clear in his thesis - and the evidence bears him out - that St. Bonaventure did not regard the Franciscans to be the Seraphic Order that would usher in the period of great peace prior to Antichrist. He did believe that St. Francis was the Angel of the Sixth Seal but stated that he merely anticipated a form of life that would become general in a later era of the Church. I quoted this earlier in the thread - could you look back at my points?

So, on the basis of St. Bonaventure himself, we have to say that his time was not the prophesied peace.

As I have indicated above, St. Hildegard sets conditions that conform - eerily - with the Social Doctrine of the recent Magisterium of the Church since the 1870s, in respect of the abolition of war in a temporal and not spiritual sense.

I think her meaning is very clear and it relates perfectly with the predictions of the other saints regarding these eschatological matters.

On the civilization of love point, I noted earlier that it is not a utopia or a millennium. It may only last for a single generation! And there will still be sin, suffering, the threat of war and no perfectability of man or history.

In his 1995 letter on the family, Pope JPII explains that the civilization of love is a genuine, temporal civilization or "culture", a crucial part of which consists of a pro-life mentality and a defensive of the family unit in society.

Colin Cooper said...

As Ratzinger noted in my earlier quotation from his 1959 thesis:


As Ratzinger stresses:

"...For the present, the Dominican and Franciscan Orders stand together as the inauguration of a new period for which they are preparing. But they cannot bring this period into actuality all by themselves. When this age arrives, it will be a time of contemplation, a time of full understanding of the scripture and, in this respect, a time of the Holy spirit who leads us into the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ. (Ratzinger)

​Bonaventure thus takes Francis to anticipate in his own person that eschatological form of life which will be general in the future. Although the Religious Order he founded was merely cherubicus, concerned, like that of the Dominicans, with devotion and theological speculation, Francis himself more truly belonged to theordo seraphicus...The final age of the world will find the Church a contemplative church, ecclesia contemplativa. As such, it will enjoy an unparralleled fulness of revelation..."


St. Bonaventure looked ahead to the Peace in his time.

Colin Cooper said...

In terms Stephen, of your point about the impossibility of a civilization of love this side of the Eschaton and its difference from any millennium, I stated earlier and would like to reiterate:


"...consider this from the Vatican II constitution Gaudium et Spes:


http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html


"...Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder, and actualized by men as they thirst after ever greater justice. The common good of humanity finds its ultimate meaning in the eternal law. But since the concrete demands of this common good are constantly changing as time goes on, peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly. Moreover, since the human will is unsteady and wounded by sin, the achievement of peace requires a constant mastering of passions and the vigilance of lawful authority..."


That's an important point and I think it is part of what JPII was intimidating in your quotation. Peace on earth will "never be attained once and for all". If someone claims this, then I agree - its heretical. The struggle against sin and human foibles will never cease before the end of time. For as long as their is history, it will be a history of continual striving against evil, the definitive completion of which will be in the next world, not in this one.

But one is wrong to think that this means human civilization cannot "improve" and become more aligned to the will of the Almighty. That has always been in our power to do. That's not a radical break in history, its a potential we have always had as a collective if we simply embrace the Kingship of Christ. We can never improve "definitively" but we can improve in relation to what has come before.

Millenarianism posits an end to the "struggle," as such it posits an end to history within history - which is a nonsense. History can only end beyond history in the Eschaton.


But the Church proclaim a different possibility:


"...That earthly peace which arises from love of neighbor symbolizes and results from the peace of Christ which radiates from God the Father...

Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ.

But insofar as men vanquish sin by a union of love, they will vanquish violence as well and make these words come true: "They shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4)...

It is our clear duty, therefore, to strain every muscle in working for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all and endowed with the power to safeguard on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights. But before this hoped for authority can be set up..."...."

Colin Cooper said...

So if I may reiterate: Ratzinger noted in his thesis that,

"....While Bonaventure considered the 'new people of God' that he envisaged for the future as the true fulfilment of Francis' intentions, he was not so arrogant as to suppose that this novus ordo (new order) was identical with the present Franciscan Order....

In the present epoch where, thanks to the activity of the Franciscan and Dominican Orders, there is already a considerable upsurge of biblical exegesis and preaching, 'revelation' in this sense has started to expain again. But the revelation of the Seventh Age will far exceed such modest advances. It will go beyond the sapienta multiformis, the 'multiform wisdom' of the present age, whose model is Augustine. It will transform itself into a sapienta nulliformis, a wisdom which is formless (apophatic) to the degree that it lies beyond all forms...

Bonaventure predicts an end to rational theology... In the Church of the final age, Francis' own manner of life will triumph, impracticable though it is if lived sine glossa here and now. The Poor Man of Assisi, the simplex, the idiota, will turn out to have more penetration into God than all the learned men of his time, because he loved God more..."


This is the reason why I regard Pope Francis' adoption of the regional name of Francis to be so significant. Are we approaching the time that St. Bonaventure prophesied, when the spirituality of St. Francis will become "the general state" of the whole church, clergy and laity?

To me, Francis' theology is basically the theology described above.

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
I would totally agree with you that progress is always possible; for all its abuses and deficiencies, the United Nations would point to that in some way, but I see the Church teachings slightly different to you. I see them as a summons to show humanity the way to have a better future in which we are all called to work. However, I dont see it as anything other than a desire; not a prophecy of what will happen. I think Pope Benedict made that point to Peter Seewald. Cardinal Wojtyla before becoming JP II gave a lenten retreat to Paul VI in 1976 and gave a meditation in which he said the Devil's temptation to Adam and Eve "You will be like God" has now found the historical era that allows for its fullest expression to be realized. He said "we may be wondering if we are on the last lap of history" and then quoted St Paul in 2 Thess about the restrainer being taken out of the way for the Antichrist to come. There was no expectation from him than anything other than the final apostasy was on the doorstep.
Greg, I have to say I have always liked for interepetation of peace and this era of grace. To me its spot on; but the question is: are most people missing it? It ties in with this era of Divine Mercy before the final judgment.

Bridget said...

Greg, I agree with your interpretation of peace as well! I haven't done much research on this, but the Isa dreams phenomenon that's been happening for the past 30 years (with an increase since the year 2000 supposedly) would support your timeline as well.

Colin Cooper said...

Stephen,

I think your interpretation of church teaching in this respect is perfectly valid, as is mine in a different way.

It's important that people are made aware of these teachings, so that they can form their own prudential judgement of what is being made known to us by the Holy Spirit through the Magisterium.

I am only offering my own prudential judgement - nothing more.

Your reference to Wojtyla's 1976 Lenten address (prior to his becoming pontiff) is certainly thought-provoking but I don't personally view it as contradictory to the vision I have set out. The period of peace actually brings the Final Persecution and Eschaton closer since it is the last "hurrah," so to speak, of the Katechon restraining Antichrist to allow for the Church to complete its mission on earth before the consummation of all things. As such, it is not in any sense contradictory with the idea that the fullest expression of the primordial fall from grace is being brought closer.

Also, I think it worth pointing out something I raised earlier in my discussion with Emmett from JPII's magisterium which may counteract the idea that we are living in the last century (not the End Times,which are always ongoing in expectation of the Second Coming with or without the Katechon), namely his encyclical on the Millenium, Tertio Millenio Adveniente in 1994:


"... The future of the world and the Church belongs to the younger generation, to those who, born in this century, will reach maturity in the next, the first century of the new millennium. Christ expects great things...If they succeed in following the road which he points out to them, they will have the joy of making their own contribution to his presence in the next century and in the centuries to come, until the end of time: "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and for ever"..."


Notice the operative wording "in the next century and in the centuries to come".

He didn't appear to believe that the 21st century, the first of the third millennium, would be the last one before the Eschaton.

Colin Cooper said...

In terms of the papal statements on world order being desires rather than predictions, I think its worth considering that the word "will" has been used just as often as "should".

JPII in his famous address to the UN certainly predicted the civilization of love and Ecclesial Springtime in the next millennium. Pius XI, for his part, stated "when once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony."

'Will' is definitive (i e. an actual expectation of a future event, as opposed to merely desiring it as an ideal).

Now, you might legitimately argue that men will never "in private and public life" recognise "Christ as King" and yet Poland has already made a step in that direction at the end of last year:


"...On the Vigil of the Feast of Christ the King (Nov 21, 2016), the bishops of Poland in union with Polish President, Andrzej Duda, proclaimed Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, as the “King of Poland”.

Church and State officials gathered at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland to celebrate the 1,050 years of Christianity in their nation. Together, they implored Jesus to reign over Poland, over its people and political leaders as Sovereign Lord – Christ the King. The consecration was repeated in churches throughout Poland. The people united under the leadership of the Polish episcopate and statesmen raised their voices :
“Immortal King of Ages Lord Jesus Christ, we Poles stand before you to acknowledge your reign, surrender to your law, and entrust our homeland and the whole nation to you.”
“Humbly bowing our heads before you, King of the Universe, we acknowledge your dominion over the Polish nation, those living in the homeland and throughout the world. Wishing to worship the majesty of Thy power and glory, with great faith and love, we cry out: Rule us, Christ!”

In the presence of President Andrej Duda, Prime Minister, Beata Szydło, and other ranking state officials the bishops prayed: “We entrust to you the Polish people and Polish leaders. Let them exercise their power fairly and in accordance with Your laws.”..."



Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
I would never suggest this will be the last century either. We simply dont know. In "Heralds" I was very careful not to suggest anytime line as that would contradict the Lord' clear words about nobody knows the day or hour. I am happy to think that this could all go no a lot longer. However concerning your quote from JP II, I also remember one from Benedict not long before his resignation where he said something like "the century which may or may not come after this one." I think it was in a homily to his theology group which meets once a year in the summer. What I would say without question, is that something marvelous has to heppen in order for the Jews to be converted, so I dont go along with the notion that there will not be some magnificent change through the power of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of Enoch and Elijah, I just see the definition of peace and reconciliation as Greg does and thus it can easily be fitted into a scenario where evil is still increasing and yet a peace, a true peace is being experienced by a faithful remnant who prepare the Church for its final persecution. That way all bases are covered. as Benedict XVI stated, the Church will be constantly suffering until the end of the world. (Fatima 2010)

Rachmaninov said...

Colin,
See my book for my interpretation of "springtime"

Colin Cooper said...

Stephen,

Fair enough!

My understanding is not substantially different from yours, except to the extent that I do anticipate a peace distinct from and antecedent to the consolations given to the faithful in the time of Antichrist, a peace during which the Church will be able to fulfil its mandate on earth to spread amongst all nations under a world order propitious to a final spreading of the Gospel, before it decays - after the removal of the Katechon - to make way for the rebellion that ushers in Antichrist and the End of All Things.

I have absolutely no problem with your and Greg's scheme of things should it prove to be accurate, however. It's just not the one that makes the most sense to me based upon my own research into this.

But as I said earlier, I'm a fallible human being - so who knows!

Anonymous said...

Ok time to step back a bit here.

Catholics oftentimes get into discussions with Protestants about Purgatory, Blessed Mary, the Eucharist, baptism of infants etc.
Protestants argue from the standpoint of "where is that in the Bible?" or "Verse so and so says this so it means all have sinnned including Mary" and on and on.

The arguments circle around and around the Bible and what is in it and what it says and means. But Catholics, before being drowned in the swirling waters of the Bible and what is in it and what verses mean, need to step back and remind Protestants that the Bible is not a catechism, and the Bible itself places itself subordinate to the Church Magesterium.

And this thread has devolved into discussions swirling around Hildegard, some Church Fathers, and other mystics and what they wrote and what it all means and does it or does it not relate to our times or a future time, and will there be a peace before Christ comes again or not and what does that peace mean, and "Hildegard says the peace is like this so it must be like what she says" and on and on. Hildegard and others are being leaned on as if they are the final arbiters of those points in the same way Protestants lean on the Bible and there own ideas on its meaning. But as with the Protestants and the Bible, ine must step back because the final arbiter is the Church and its teachings (and the Church teaches and has always taught the wheat and tares will exist side by side, there will be strife, right up until the final moments of this Creation, until the Last Day, the Final Judgement i.e until the return of Christ.

So we need to step back. We need to remember the primacy of Church teaching over and above what mystics wrote. A simple test is if a mystic wrote something that contradicts Church teaching, then it is questionable at best, completely incorrect at worse.

The good Fr. Gobbi and his writings are a good, recent example of this. Fr. Roux, the national director of Gobbi's Marian Movement of Priests himself said, "If the Marian Movement of Priests and its book of messages . . . are to be officially approved by the church . . . a thorough investigation must be undertaken by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). . . . It would be the role of the CDF, after serious examination, to make an official declaration concerning the messages and the Marian Movement of Priests." So neither the movement nor the messages had been approved as of Fr. Roux's writing that.
Further, Fr. Roux said, "Prior to the publishing of the new Italian edition of the book To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, the secretary from the CDF [presumably Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone], in a personal letter to Fr. Gobbi, requested and advised that he should not claim in the book’s introduction that these messages are from the Blessed Mother, but rather that they are the product of his own personal meditation."

What is questionable about Fr. Gobbi's writings? For one, there was message 287 (one of Fr. Gobbi‘s alleged messages from our Lady). In it, our Lady contradicts Pope John Paul II and Sr. Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima—both of whom have confirmed that Pope’s consecration of Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, made on March 25, 1984, fulfilled our Lady‘s request. According to Fr. Gobbi’s locutions, the Blessed Mother disagrees and continues to ask for another consecration.
(to be continued)

Anonymous said...

(continued...)
And according to Fr. Gobbi’s locutions, the Blessed Mother said Jesus would return by the year 2000. Message 532 says in part: "I [Mary] confirm to you that, by the great jubilee of the year two thousand, there will take place the triumph of my Immaculate Heart, of which I foretold you at Fatima, and this will come to pass with the return of Jesus in glory, to establish his Reign in the world. Thus you will at last be able to see with your own eyes the new heavens and the new earth" (To The Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, U.S. National Headquarters of the MMP [1995], 893).
Example: The Final Judgment, Fr. Gobbi versus the Church (bolding mine):
Fr. Gobbi: "The return (Second Coming) of Jesus in glory [will take place] BEFORE His final coming for the Last Judgment".. "Therefore, we can surely be certain that the Lord will appear and return to this earth for a period of time before the final end of the world".

Catechism: "The Last Judgment will come WHEN Christ returns in glory" (CCC 1040).

The Nicene Creed: "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead."

Scripture also verifies that the Last Judgment will take place at Jesus’ Second Coming—not, as Fr. Gobbi says, at some other "final coming" (cf. Rev. 20, Matt. 25:31–45, 2 Pet. 3:7).



Alleged Medjugorje visionary Mirjana has said she is not favorited by God, that she too must meditate on the messages like the rest of us, to try to discern their meaning and that she could be incorrect in her understandings of them. Lucia of Fatima said much the same - she said something to the effect that while she is the conveyor of the message, it is left to the Church to interpret it.

So we need to remember that Church teaching takes precedence over anything written by any mystic, and if what a mystic says contradicts Church teaching, that is a red flag of caution, meaning possible errors are there. The Church is the rock; arguments built on erroneous mystical visions are built on sand.

And that is why I prefer to lean on the more recent Fatima event and give that a lot of weight in understanding these times, along with the recent St. Faustina diary and ongoing alleged apparitions. So I will be posting more on the meaning of Fatima, time permitting.

God bless,
Greg J. Cring

Colin Cooper said...

You make many good points Anonymous!

I would qualify, nonetheless, that I only rely on approved private revelations from visionaries whose writings have been recognised by the Church as not being contrary to Faith and morals.

I make no claim that these visionaries are correct, simply that their interpretations are viable for Catholics to believe if they choose to do so and that finding points of consensus between them and the Magisterium might point us in a fruitful direction

Anonymous said...

I do not mean it to sound as if one should ignore the visionaries, but one should proceed with caution and weigh writings against Church teaching.

I also feel more recent 20th century visions provide more understanding than prior visions, perhaps out of necessity as the time of the end is near, or even upon us. Fatima (and its second part - Medjugorje) is the penultimate imho!

God bless,
Greg J. Cring

Rachmaninov said...

Also I would add that Pope Benedict did say concerning Hildegard that even she didnt fully understand the revelations given her

Colin Cooper said...

I would be very wary of Medjugorje Greg.

No only is it not approved many prominent theologians have discerned significant errors associated with it. I will stick my neck out to say that I don't personally believe in it and would only change my assessment if the Church were to judge it positively.

Certainly, it would be very wrong to put these purported (and perhaps false) apparitions above those attributed to Doctors of the Church like St. Bonaventure, St. Hildegard and St. Catherine of Siena.

We are on safe ground continually with these approved writings

Colin Cooper said...

Spelling error, safe ground "doctrinally" I meant to say.

Emmett O'Regan said...

I have some catching up to do here!

Emmett O'Regan said...

I agree with Colin on Medjugorje. I'm not completely convinced it is genuine, but am willing to be swayed by Church approval. Also, I think Greg is spot on concerning the "period of peace" being related to the downfall of Communism (as Mark L argues as well). We really are living during a time of peace right now, and I'm afraid that many people will miss what is going on in their back yards while looking for the greener grass to appear next door. Maybe being from Northern Ireland, I am more inclined to believe this to be related to the time of peace promised by Our Lady, since I have witnessed some incredible changes during my own life time. But even on a worldwide scale, we would surely have to concur that the world has been spared from the pains of "total war" that characterised the 20th century for a reasonably long time now. I look outside my window, and still note the absence of soldiers marching up and down the streets of West Belfast. To me, this is peace. The lamb may not lie down with the lion this side of eternity, but we can certainly experience pale reflections of the true peace of Christ here on earth.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Medjugorje;I went this past Sept 2016 and stayed at Mirjana's place. I am not about to discuss Medjugorje here, as it is not the place.

All I will say is it is not what you have heard from the anti-Medjugorje media hype; I cannot explain that to anyone who has not gone, and if one has gone then surely, if he or she is honest, then he or she noticed it is not at all as reported by anti-Medjugorje media (or they weren't aware of the controversies while they were there so did not perceive it in one way or another; I learned many in my pilgrim group knew very little about Medjugorje).
I do suggest you go for yourself and see.

I have met Mirjana. I watched her as she, her husband, her daughter and other family members served us our meals; I watched Mirjana clean up someone's spilled soup from the table, right in front of me while talking and laughing about things. She is genteel, kind, radiates love, and is oh so humble. I have read Mirjana's book "My Heart Will Triumph" and I suggest everyone read it. Of course the whole thing is a matter for the Church.

I believe and will believe until the Church tells me not to, that Medjugorje's Queen of Peace is of the 'some time of peace' of Fatima.

It is interesting that the one Fatima prophecy that has not happened is the triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, and how the triumph is allegedly spoken of often at Medjugorje, more so lately, and how Mirjana chose that as the title of her book.

And that is all I will say on Medjugorje here.

God bless you,
Greg J. Cring

Emmett O'Regan said...

I certainly wouldn't discourage you from writing about Medjugorje Greg! I still believe that there is a good chance that it is genuine. I love your contributions here! Write about whatever your heart tells you. The fact that you are such a staunch defender of St. Augustine is a real asset. You also have a great depth of insight to share.

Rachmaninov said...

Although I will always accept what the Church decides ultimately, like Greg I have been there and can say that I did experience some things which you wouldnt say were natural. There was no hysteria or anything like that. The peace there was really fantastic. There are issues that need clearing up though, I do accept that. In terms of heresy though, obviously there is no issue otherwise it would have been shot down from the commission's findings. From what I remember, the idea seemed to be then that they though Our Lady definately appeared in the early stages, but couldnt be sure now.