May 21, 2011

The end of the world as the Church understands it

[I first posted this several years ago.  In light of those who advertised that the world was going to end today, I am re-posting this today.]

Certain Protestants in the late nineteenth century were the first to piece together the idea of a final "rapture." Though related to elements here and there in the New Testament, the notion of a "rapture" as popularized in popular fiction in the last few decades was unheard of in the history of Christianity before the late 1800's.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church presents specific understandings of how the world will come to an end.

I have posted the Catechism's three paragraphs that bear the heading "The Church's Ultimate Trial." The same post has the full texts cited in the footnotes for those three paragraphs.

Click HERE for it.


Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Father:
I was one of those poorly catechized catholic kids who left the church in 1973 to join the charismatic jesus freak movement.
we were so convinced Jesus was coming by Hal Lindsay's crazy late Great Planet Earth book, we weren't going to go to college. thank God one of our elders pulled us aside and said "go to college" if the Lord wants you to go.
Fast forward 33 years. i have returned to the Church of Jesus after three decades in evangelocharismania, went to college, medschool became a doctor.
I am still waiting for Jesus to return but only as the Catholic Church explains it.
God bless you Father, pray for me and my wife .

8:05 PM  
Blogger beez said...

Thank you for this post, Father.

I have never understood where this whole "rapture" thing came from. I have always understood that some of the faithful must remain on earth through the trials, because that is how God has willed it to be.

I guess it just goes to more of the Protestant "feel goodism" of the later century and a half. We don't need to worry, we don't need to suffer and even in the end, God's going to pick us up and spare us from persecution.

"Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you for my sake. Rejoice, and be glad for your reward is great in Heaven. For so did they treat the prophets that were before you."

As I have long said, I'm not out looking for martyrdom, but if the Lord, in his wisdom chooses to put it in my path, so be it. May He simply grant me the grace to persevere.

God bless you, Father.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

I once read somewhere that the theology of the rapture was first proclaimed by a Catholic priest. I think he was Spanish.

Anyway, as beez intimated, I think the idea of the rapture is cowardly. If there are souls still to be saved on Earth, someone has got to do God's work. Let all the weak and cowardly be assumed into heaven; let all of God's warriors stay and fight the good fight.

8:06 AM  

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