There is a lot of hype going around these days that claim we are quite proximate to the end of the world.
While we all know that this will be a reality someday, and our Lord certainly has provided us with some information on what we should be watching for, this issue has plagued Catholics of good will for centuries. It has been the basis of much speculative literature and poor attempts at connecting dots.
We tend to forget that, over and above what has been revealed by God, all the prophecies about the end times must be considered against the backdrop of Christ’s words: You know not the day nor the hour (Mt. 25:13), or in another place where our Lord’s coming is described like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2).
Like always with this matter, all the hype merely serves to upset peace of soul.
Still, our Lord saw it beneficial and useful that we are not kept in the dark completely about such matters. He wants us to watch and be vigilant (cf. Mt. 24:42).
But while those last days will be full of trepidation for many, and certainly will be quite the event to experience, those with strong and correct faith are expected to observe some amount of peace about it all. If we have gone about our lives seeking first the kingdom of God and His justice; that is, doing what we are supposed to in light of our respective states in life, it means we have maintained ourselves daily in a state of grace and stand ready (or ready enough) for our judgment.
Peace is the tranquility of order, even amidst surrounding chaos.
Further keep in mind that embracing the death God has in mind for us is a perfect act of charity and will actually atone for any temporal punishment we may owe. No stopover in purgatory needed.
Such would be as the wise virgins who rose at the sound of the bridegroom’s coming and trimmed their lamps full of oil, the lamps representing faith, and the oil as the charity which enables the flame to burn.
The foolish virgins were the ones caught by surprise, which threw them into a fearful panic over the untimely arrival of the bridegroom. They had grown worldly and neglected their responsibilities so that, while having at least some faith, lost charity and now had no time to regain it (cf. Mt. 25:1-13).
The fearful panic of the foolish virgins seems to be a good description of the state of the world right now.
Fear is at an all-time high, and it serves to place everyone in quite the compromised position. True, some anxiety and reasonable fear can be justified given the reset attempt we are dealing with. But our Lord was clear about the state of things as the world got older: And because iniquity has abounded, the charity of many will grow cold (Mt. 24:12).
Fear is always in direct proportion to the lack of charity; that is, sanctifying grace in the soul. Lack of grace ties us down to the world, and the underworld as well. Confronted with our own mortality, are we making unnecessary contributions to the level of fear on account of this?
Many do not know where to find a lamp, let alone buy oil, and now the million distractions that have bombarded us are losing their lulling power.
That is a good thing, because at some point there has to be a day of reckoning. Christ was not playing for peanuts.
Indeed, humanity at large has been given a merciful wake-up call to get our souls in order while there is time remaining to buy more oil and trim the lamps, effectively being a beacon for others, and perhaps to discover the only effective weapon there is against the threats that loom. Fear is not in charity, but perfect charity casts out fear (1 Jn 4:18).
It is not the end of the world, yet. Thanks be to God.
Because God is never going to be welcome in the world He created and redeemed. But when the world has finally grown too old to support itself, our Lord will come again to claim what is rightfully His amidst the fear and screaming consequent of such a majestic entry.
In fact on that last day, the world, so old and tired from sin, will stand in stark contrast to the God who, for those with charity, will be recognized to really be the joy of their youth.
January 15, 2021