[In this life,] to love God is something greater than to know Him. —St. Thomas Aquinas
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 everywhere 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.
QuoteAnd I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns, like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he executed all the power of the former beast in his sight; and he caused the earth, and them that dwell therein, to adore the first beast, whose wound to death was healed.
QuoteVerse 11In the vision of the Seer now appears a second beast rising out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb but speaking like a dragon. This beast is the prophet of Antichrist. In other places he is called the "False Prophet" (XVI. 13; XIX. 20). Antichrist will have a forerunner or prophet, who will prepare the way for him. It will undoubtedly be someone who has done great work of evil in the world so as to be especially fitted for the position. Many may have developed so evil a character as to be fit for such a job, but this one may be at the head of a strong world-power. Satan will not know long beforehand the time of these events, as he will not know when he shall be cast out of the Church. So choosing the False Prophet will be the work of Antichrist himself after he has made his own pact with Satan. This prophet may re-establish the pagan Roman Empire and build the "Great Harlot", Babylon. He comes out of the earth, which is the term for the Gentile nations from which he springs.He is briefly described. He has two horns; Antichrist has ten. These two horns might stand for two kings subject to him, if the phrase "like a lamb" were not added. That gives the horns a different significance. He may have two world-powers subject to himself; but the added phrase seems to intimate that he is an apostate bishop or cardinal, or he resembles one. The Church having fled from Rome after the murder of the pope leaves the papal chair vacant. This false prophet possibly at the behest of Antichrist usurps the papal supremacy and proposes himself as emperor of Rome. His assumed spiritual authority and supremacy over the Church would make him resemble the Bishop of Rome, and his temporal regency over the re-established empire would make him emperor of Rome. He would be Pontifex Maximus, a title of pagan Roman emperors, having supreme spiritual and temporal authority. Assuming authority without possessing it makes him the False Prophet. Does this allude to what our Lord said?Though he poses as a lamb, a Christian, his doctrines betray him, for he preaches the doctrines of the dragon. His principles and dogmas to be accepted, his moral and civil law will be of diabolical inspiration. It maybe communism or plain idolatrous paganism; it will comprise emperor-worship and devil-worship coupled with persecution of the true believers. They will know him at once as an impostor and will not be misled. He will be in league with the antichristian world-powers and adopt their principles of government and civil law. As spiritual head of his empire, he may declare it treason against the state to accept Christianity or the moral law of God. He will evidently do in his own empire what Antichrist will do in his, who as Daniel writes, "shall think himself able to change times and laws".Verse 12Antichrist shall endow the False Prophet with his own satanic might and authority, who will then exercise it in the presence of his master. Seeing Antichrist invest another with his own superhuman power shall win the admiration of the infidels. Satan will hold himself at the service of Antichrist at all moments and also at the beck and call of the False Prophet invisibly working signs and lying wonders in the presence of Antichrist. Being the constant guardian angel of Antichrist, so that his apparent supernatural powers might seem personal, Satan can be at the service of the False Prophet only in Antichrist's presence. He is present only in one place, and though he can move with swifter than lightning speed, he is not omniscient and could not know when in Pekin [Beijing] with Antichrist, what the False Prophet might have in mind for him to do at Rome, unless the communication were brought him by other devils. Then he would need to leave Antichrist's presence to attend to the wishes of the False Prophet. Antichrist's power would then be suspended, and the charmed life he will possess under the tutelage of Satan would be endangered. The False Prophet will therefore be able to work his signs only in Antichrist's presence, who shall thus easily win the antichristian Jews and be proclaimed the long expected messias by them. His "signs" will gain credence for himself among all infidels who have been or shall become unfaithful to the Church. The False Prophet will exercise his borrowed power for Antichrist's honor and glory and will persuade all infidels, apostates and apostate nations to worship and adore him. And Antichrist will support his prophet and secure him in his empire.One of the main reasons why people will accept Antichrist is the healing of the "wound to death" of one head of the beast. That one head is ancient Roman paganism, which shall be restored by the False Prophet through the power of Antichrist. This seems to locate the prophet's capital at Rome. It would make possible a literal fulfillment of the prophecies of chapters XVII. and XVIII. In chapter XVII., the beast carries the scarlet woman, showing the re-establishment of the pagan empire made possible by his power. The covenant between Antichrist and his prophet will probably stipulate the submission of all people in the restored empire to the former, the acknowledgement of his divinity and the acceptance of his doctrines and morality. The empire will not be as large as formerly, for the empire of Antichrist shall occupy some of the ancient empire's territory. The influence of the False Prophet shall induce the unchristian and apostate nations to deify Antichrist. His doctrines will be enunciated in a high-sounding literary style and ornamented with an alluring mysticism, the better to fit them for fostering every degree of pride and moral abandonment. They shall then be enthusiastically accepted by all sinners. And these enthusiasts shall proclaim the resurrection of the Roman Empire the miracle of the ages. The Church is defeated. The papacy is abolished.St. Paul says that Antichrist "sitteth in the temple of God" to receive divine worship as if he were God (2 Thess. II. 4). This is not the ancient Temple of Jerusalem, nor a temple like it built by Antichrist, as some have thought, for then it would be his own temple. In chapter XI. 1 and 19, this temple is shown to be a Catholic Church, possibly one of the churches in Jerusalem or St. Peters in Rome, which is the largest church in the world and is in the full sense "THE temple of God". If Antichrist went in person to that great temple to receive the worship of his followers, the False Prophet would accomplish his mission eminently. The capital of Antichrist will be in Jerusalem until the resurrection of the Two Witnesses. But if he were never seen by the peoples outside his capital, his power and influence would remain very limited. He will surely travel from country to country to show himself, teach his doctrines, work his lying miracles, establish his empire and be worshipped by his votaries. By personally appearing in all the principal cities of his empire, he will persuade the wicked to mobilize great armies enabling him to crush the nations opposed to him.
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