I don't believe that the end of the world is going to be this crazy Armageddon of fire balls, alien invasions or even zombies (jury's still out on sentient robot armies - ha).
Nope. I believe it's going to be something much more innocuous, and I also believe we're seeing the creepings of it in the push for politics like this.
Being a Catholic, I believe that there will be a time in which Christ comes back to judge the living and the dead. It's right there in our Creed. It's right there in our Bible. Jesus promised to return in glory at the end of the ages in order to usher in an era of peace in which He reigns as King.
However, He won't be back until the Church is thoroughly decimated by a necessary cleansing (and I do mean decimated - read the definition here). Oddly enough, we seem to be entering into the beginnings of some sudsy action right now!
Times are not only changing... they're coming to a head. For as much of a crazy woman as this will make me sound, I am convinced we are living on the cusp of these "end times."
We've seen a complete betrayal of faith (both in the Catholic community and elsewhere). Religion has become something to be ashamed of. The name of Christ is only uttered by those too "unenlightened" to know any better. Morality has been skewed so beyond recognition that we accept the murder of innocence as "choice." We've already begun our trip down the proverbial "slippery slope" and evil is already working at desensitizing us to its perversion.
There are those within our own ranks that are calling for the abolition of firmly held dogma. These wolves in sheep's clothing are, in my opinion, the work of evil attempting to tear us down from within . It will be from them that the trumpets of Armageddon will sound, and yes... I have no doubt that even the chair of St. Peter will be corrupted. One day in the not-too-distant future (yes, maybe even in my lifetime), a pope will be "elected" who will make it his nefarious goal to destroy the Church.
I pray for Pope Benedict, because I wonder where we'll be after his pontificate ends. Will we luck out with another strong and brave leader that is willing to stand in staunch defense of our faith? I fear not, and I fear the day that the teachings of our previous popes go ignored. I honestly dread the day in which homosexual marriages are taught as a natural right of equality... when abortion is accepted as a social justice... when women are "ordained" as Catholic priests. All done, of course, under the guise of "charitable acceptance."
I have no doubt that these things are to come, and as they do, those true Catholics who can still discern the work of satan will be persecuted beyond endurance. We'll understand that the sacraments are being slowly siphoned away from us (after all, women priests are not priests at all, thus consecration providing us with the Eucharist is impossible... confession... confirmation... all our greatest avenues of grace will be denied!).
I've been saying for the last two years that our beloved Church is headed for a schism. With all the dissent, misinformation, and bad catechesis running rampant within our ranks, the only true way we'll purify ourselves is through an ugly split. Folks who don't truly understand / believe what the Catholic Church has taught for the past 2,000 plus years can move on and create yet another protestant denomination that thinks they've got it all figured out.
The remnant Church (fragmented though she may be) will have successfully been purged of all those who are seeking her destruction. Then, and only then, can we expect Christ. No one knows the day or hour, but we can be assured that our Church must endure the aforementioned chastisement for allowing the follies of her members to spread with such alarming apathy.
It is only through this chastisement that we can really prepare ourselves for the Second Coming.
I realize all of this makes me sound like a crazy person... maybe even as crazy as Harold Camping's rapture predictions.
However, I'm not suggesting anything outside the Bible. I'm simply following our current path to its logical end. More and more we can see religions being persecuted (specifically Christians), and more and more of our own religious are turning away from dogma (Fr. Z just compiled a great list of the sisters that served as catalyst for the Vatican "crackdown").
This is not a matter of the Church "finally changing with the times." Dogma CANNOT "change." It's what makes our faith so steadfast, reliable and holy. When folks start tinkering with the divine, there will be consequences... and we're feeling those consequences with a lack of vocations, a lack of reverence, and a lack of dignity in the public sphere.
May God have mercy on us.
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