Monday, 6 March 2017
Communion of Saints
I would like to draw your attention to Stephen Walford's excellent new book Communion of Saints: The Unity of Divine Love in the Mystical Body of Christ. This book is about eschatology in the truest sense of the word, in that it primarily focuses on the de novissimis - the four last things of death, judgment, Heaven and Hell. Walford is a gifted and erudite author, and his latest work on the mystical nature of the Church is quite beautifully written. The fact that Walford's Communion of Saints draws not only on the writings of the popes, but also various saints and doctors of the Church, makes this book an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the subjects of ecclesiology and eschatology.
Of particular interest to both myself and the readers of this blog, the epilogue to Walford's new book contains an excellent survey of the errors perpetuated by the spiritual millenarian movement within Catholicism, which is spearheaded by various influential individuals such as Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi and the popular Catholic evangelist Mark Mallett. Walford presents a detailed critique of Iannuzzi's spiritual millennialism, which erroneously equates the period of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima with the binding of Satan detailed in chapter 20 of the Apocalypse. By encouraging their followers to do, the spiritual millennialists not only advocate a complete rejection of the eschatology of St. Augustine of Hippo, but also steer their readers into the trap of millenarian heresy, contrary to the teachings of the Catechism:
The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism (CCC 676).
Stephen Walford's book is a great gift to the Church in this time of confusion, and the fact that he boldly throws down the gauntlet to this modern heresy deserves high praise indeed.
Also worth noting is that all proceeds of Communion of Saints goes to Aid to the Church in Need for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.