[A]nyone...striving after his advancement...is...given to spiritual reading. --St. Athanasius
Started by Geremia, March 25, 2018, 04:45:24 PM
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QuoteThe woman of chapter twelve is not the Blessed Virgin Mary....According to the ancient Fathers, the human nature or character of the Church is here delineated, while in chapters four and five her divine nature and prerogatives were depicted....The twelve stars represent the twelve apostles; or they may be God's mystical number symbolizing the Christian nations, that as a contrast to the ten crowned horns of the beast, shall be the glory of the Church when the days of Antichrist approach....The moon under her feet has ever been understood to symbolize the unchanging and unchangeable character of the Church.
QuoteIn that travail, she gives birth to some definite "person" who is to RULE the Church with a rod of iron (verse 5). It then points to a conflict waged within the Church to elect one who was to "rule all nations" in the manner clearly stated. In accord with the text this is unmistakably a PAPAL ELECTION, for only Christ and His Vicar have the divine right to rule ALL NATIONS. Furthermore, the Church does not travail in anguish at EVERY papal election which can be held without trouble or danger. But at this time the great powers may take a menacing attitude to hinder the election of the logical and expected candidate by threats of a general apostasy, assassination or imprisonment of this candidate if elected. This would suppose an extremely hostile mind in the governments of Europe towards the Church and would cause intense anguish to the Church, because an extended interregnum in the papacy is always disastrous and more so in a time of universal persecution. If Satan would contrive to hinder a papal election, the Church would suffer great travail.
QuoteThis red dragon it is that brings the Church into great distress at that time....No fiercer enemy of God and man has appeared in Christian times than Communism, and strange to say, RED is its emblematic color. Communism may by that time have gained control of the governments of Europe, It would then erect almost insurmountable difficulties for the holding of a conclave to elect a pope....Satan knows how extensively an interregnum in the papacy would favor his success in recovering his ancient lordship over the world. (See 2 Thess II. 7 ["For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way."]).
QuoteWe have here [2 Thessalonians 2:3-11] a prophecy ... of a [spiritual*] revolt, which shall precede the second coming of our Lord ... The authority, then, from which the revolt is to take place is that of the kingdom of God on earth, prophesied by Daniel [cf. Daniel 2] as the kingdom which the God of heaven should set up ... in other words, the one and universal Church, founded by our Divine Lord, and spread by His Apostles throughout the world. In this one only kingdom was deposited the true and supernatural pure theism, or knowledge of God, and the true and only faith of God incarnate, with the doctrines and laws of grace. This, then, is the authority from which the revolt is to be made, be that revolt what it may.[*"St. Jerome, with some others, interprets this revolt to be the rebellion of the nations or provinces against the Roman Empire. ... They have revolted, and no manifestation has appeared." Thus, the revolt is spiritual, not temporal.]
QuoteSome eminent cardinal may be particularly outstanding in his efforts to stem the tide of demoralization of bishops and priests. Satan will know, and the world-powers will know, that he is the likely choice for the papacy, and that if elected, he will convoke a general council and exercise his supreme jurisdiction to inaugurate measures of reform. Satan knows that his own hopes of a rich harvest of souls will then be dashed to the ground. Hence he must avert the election or have the pope assassinated when elected. The judgment is about to begin "at the house of God" (1 Peter IV. 17). The influence of the dragon will every where aim to subject the Church to the state. This persecution is thus a political subjugation, and one third of the bishops and priests will be ripe for apostasy. Satan's intention is to subject the newly-elected pope also to the purposes of the World-powers or to plot his death. He may contrive an assurance of safety and immunity from harm for the cardinals to convene for the election the more easily to take the pope-elect prisoner. The dragon will want to intimidate the new pope into non-interference--to let affairs run and develop as heretofore. In that way would he "devour the son", absorb the papacy and alone direct and rule the world.
QuoteA general council may decree the reforms, but the pope must enforce them. These decrees will be the "seven thunders" mentioned in chapter ten....The clause, "that he might devour her son", does not necessarily mean assassination. The dragon is a symbolic form of the evil world-powers, who will resent the existence of a spiritual empire among them and through them and independent of them in its essential functions and will attempt to subject this empire to their will and service. They will try to make the Church a "state church" everywhere. This is possible only if they can subject the pope to their wills and compel him to teach and rule as they direct. That would be literally devouring the papacy. Since they are defeated in this, they have the pope assassinated and "he is taken up to God and to His throne", just as Christ by His death "was taken away from distress" (Is. LIII. 8)....this "son" will hardly have time to purify the Church, before he is persecuted, imprisoned and martyred. He is therefore surely not Christ....This pope will be given the power to rule over the destiny of the Church immediately from Heaven. He carries out the will of God and loses his life in consequence; and immediately as part of his reward, he receives in Heaven patronage over the Church on earth.