Antichrist rising


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The Crown of Luther

Sword-of-Stalingrad

The Sword of Rousseau 

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The Orb of Descartes

Bishop Schneider speaks.

And Chris Ferrara makes a reasonable request: “Show me the numbers that justify worldwide panic and suspension of civil liberties over a virus that has not killed even a tiny fraction of the people who are dying of the flu all over the world right now.”

See the whole article.

 

 

St Irenaeus seems quite confident that the antichrist will appear after six thousand years of human history.  He doesn’t explicitly say that he has received this from apostolic tradition, true.  But nor does he say that it is a conjecture of his own.  Given that his whole purpose in the Adversus Haereses is to pass on what he has received, against the false teachings of the gnostics, it seems very likely, at least, that he has received this from some of the disciples of the apostle St John. “In as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded” (Adv. haer. V.28).  The number of the beast he takes not only to be the numerical value of a man’s name or title, but also to allude to apostasy (indicated by the 600 years of Noah’s age when the flood occurred), and persecution (indicated by the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, which was 60 cubits high and 6 broad).

The six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception (Adv. haer. V.29).

According to Cornelius a Lapide, most meticulous of exegetes, Adam was created in 3950 BC. Adding six thousand years to that we come to AD 2050.  If we were to guess that the lawless one will be about thirty years old when he makes his appearance, that would mean that he is due to be born about now.

In a chilling twist on the apparently obvious interpretation of the parable of the Unjust Judge, St Irenaeus says that this judge who fears neither God nor man is the antichrist, and that the widow woman who cries to him day and night for vindication against her enemy is not the Church, but unbelieving Jewry.  Seeking some Messiah who would not be Jesus of Nazareth, she has been calling upon the antichrist in ignorance for near two thousand years.  It may be that her long wait will soon be over.

The ‘Higher Committee of Human Fraternity’ sounds like something that Robert Hugh Benson might have made up, but apparently it is real.  They have commissioned an ‘Abrahamic Family House’ in Abu Dhabi, to consist of a mosque, a church and a synagogue. It is inspired by the recent Abu Dhabi declaration signed by Pope Bergoglio and the Imam, and it aims to evoke “the values shared between Judaism, Christianity and Islam“.

As well as the mosque, church and synagogue, there will also be “a fourth space, not affiliated with any specific religion”, which will serve for the worship of the antichrist, be an educational centre where all people can come together as a single community devoted to mutual understanding and peace.

For obvious reasons, C. S. Lewis’s book That Hideous Strength has never received the praise it deserves.  I cannot agree with A. N. Wilson’s assertion, in his entertaining but tendentious biography of Lewis, that the novel is too long.  For me, in fact, it ends too soon: its principal flaws are that the descent of the Oyeresu is described too briefly, and that the reconciliation of Mark and Jane Studdock is left to the imagination.
Most of all, I should like to have heard more from Merlinus Ambrosius, that is, Merlin, who irrupts into the book half-way through. The enemy planned to use him as a tool for evil, but he turns out to be a Roman Christian gentleman who puts himself at the service of Ransom, the Director of St Anne’s and true Pendragon in the line of Arthur. For my money, the best parts in the story are those in which Merlinus is commenting on the mid-twentieth century world into which he has been revived, after his long sleep beneath the turf of Edgestow.
Sometimes his observations pertain only to the stranger manners of the latter days:
“Sir,” said Merlin, in answer to the question which the Director had just asked him, “I give you great thanks. I cannot, indeed, understand the way you live, and your house is strange to me. You give me a bath such as the Emperor himself might envy, but no one attends me to it: a bed softer than sleep itself, but when I rise from it I find I must put on my own clothes with my own hands as if I were a peasant. I lie in a room with windows of pure crystal so that you can see the sky as clearly when they are shut as when they are open, and there is not wind enough within the room to blow out an unguarded taper; but I lie in it alone, with no more honour than a prisoner in a dungeon. Your people eat dry and tasteless flesh, but it is off plates as smooth as ivory and as round as the sun. In all the house there is warmth and softness and silence that might put a man in mind of paradise terrestrial; but no hangings, no beautified pavements, no musicians, no perfumes, no high seats, not a gleam of gold, not a hawk, not a hound. You seem to me to live neither like a rich man nor a poor one: neither like a lord nor a hermit. Sir, I tell you these things because you have asked me. They are of no importance.”
Morals, however, he recognises as infinitely more important than manners:
She did not understand the words: but Dimble did, and heard Merlin saying in what seemed to him a rather strange kind of Latin: “Sir, you have in your house the falsest lady of any at this time alive.” 
And Dimble heard the Director answer in the same language. Sir, you are mistaken. She is doubtless like all of us a sinner: but the woman is chaste.” 
“Sir,” said Merlin, “know well that she has done in Logres a thing of which no less sorrow shall come than came of the stroke that Balinus struck. For, sir, it was the purpose of God that she and her lord should between them have begotten a child by whom the enemies should have been put out of Logres for a thousand years.”
“She is but lately married,” said Ransom. “The child may yet be born.” 
“Sir,” said Merlin, “be assured that the child will never be born, for the hour of its begetting is passed. Of their own will they are barren: I did not know till now that the usages of Sulva [the moon] were so common among you. For a hundred generations in two lines the begetting of this child was prepared; and unless God should rip up the work of time, such seed, and such an hour, in such a land, shall never be again.” 
“Enough said,” answered Ransom. “The woman perceives that we are speaking of her.” 
“It would be great charity,” said Merlin, “if you gave order that her head should be cut from her shoulders; for it is a weariness to look at her.”
Merlinus is surprised, too, that the little company at St Anne’s do not  see the justice of treating self-sterilization as a capital offence:
“The Pendragon tells me,” he said in his unmoved voice, “that you accuse me for a fierce and cruel man. It is a charge I never heard before. A third part of my substance I gave to widows and poor men. I never sought the death of any but felons and heathen Saxons. As for the woman, she may live for me. I am not master in this house. But would it be such a great matter if her head were struck off? Do not queens and ladies who would disdain her as their tire-woman* go to the fire for less? Even that gallows bird (cruciarius) beside you – I mean you, fellow, though you speak nothing but your own barbarous tongue; you with the face like sour milk and the voice like a saw in a hard log and the legs like a crane’s – even that cutpurse (sector zonarius), though I would have him to the gatehouse, yet the rope should be used on his back, not his throat.”
He finds the changes in geo-politics, too, hard to grasp:
“Mehercule!” he cried. “Are we not going too fast? If you are the Pendragon, I am the High Council of Logres, and I will council you. If the Powers must tear me in pieces to break our enemies, God’s will be done. But is it yet come to that? This Saxon king of yours who sits at Windsor, now—is there no help in him?”
“He has no power in this matter.”
“Then is he not weak enough to be overthrown?”
“I have no wish to overthrow him. He is the king. He was crowned and anointed by the Archbishop. In the order of Logres I may be Pendragon, but in the order of Britain I am the King’s man.”
“Is it, then, his great men – the counts and legates and bishops – who do the evil and he does not know of it?”
“It is – though they are not exactly the sort of great men you have in mind.”
“And are we not big enough to meet them in plain battle?”
“We are four men, some women, and a bear.”
“I saw the time when Logres was only myself and one man and two boys, and one of those was a churl. Yet we conquered.”
“It could not be done now. They have an engine called the Press whereby the people are deceived. We should die without even being heard of.”
“But what of the true clerks? Is there no help in them? It cannot be that all your priests and bishops are corrupted.”
“The Faith itself is torn in pieces since your day and speaks with a divided voice. Even if it were made whole, the Christians are but a tenth part of the people. There is no help there.”
“Then let us seek help from over sea. Is there no Christian prince in Neustria or Ireland or Benwick who would come in and cleanse Britain if he were called?”
“There is no Christian prince left. These other countries are even as Britain, or else sunk deeper still in the disease.”
“Then we must go higher. We must go to him whose office it is to put down tyrants and give life to dying kingdoms. We must call on the Emperor.”
“There is no Emperor.”
“No Emperor . . .” began Merlin, and then his voice died away. He sat still for some minutes wrestling with a world which he had never envisaged.
Here, as I think Christopher Derrick pointed out, the story suffers from Lewis’s own lack of Catholic faith.  The real Merlinus Ambrosius would doubtless have also asked about the Pope of Old Rome. And he would have wanted to know more about the ‘pieces’ into which the Faith had supposedly been torn, to discover whether he was sitting with Catholics or heretics (Warren Carroll pointed out in an unforgettable passage in his History of Christendom that in the later 5th century, all the kings in Europe were either pagans, heretics or schismatics, with the single exception of Arthur, who alone stood with the pope.)
This flaw apart, the conversation is excellently well done:
Presently he said, “A thought comes into my mind and I do not know whether it is good or evil. But because I am the High Council of Logres I will not hide it from you. This is a cold age in which I have awaked. If all this west part of the world is apostate, might it not be lawful, in our great need, to look further . . . beyond Christendom? Should we not find some even among the heathen who are not wholly corrupt? There were tales in my day of some such: men who knew not the articles of our most holy Faith but who worshipped God as they could and  acknowledged the Law of Nature. Sir, I believe it would be lawful to seek help even there – beyond Byzantium. It was rumoured also that there was knowledge in those lands – an Eastern circle and wisdom that came West from Numinor. I know not where – Babylon, Arabia, or Cathay. You said your ships had sailed all round the earth, above and beneath.”
Ransom shook his head. “You do not understand,” he said. “The poison was brewed in these West lands but it has spat itself everywhere by now. However far you went you would find the machines, the crowded cities, the empty thrones, the false writings, the barren beds: men maddened with false promises and soured with true miseries, worshipping the iron works of their own hands, cut off from Earth their mother and from the Father in Heaven. You might go East so far that East became West and you returned to Britain across the great Ocean, but even so you would not have come out anywhere into the light. The shadow of one dark wing is over all Tellus.”
In other words: just as it is a good discpline for the mind to translate one’s words into a foreign language, especially if it be very foreign, such as Latin or (I suppose) Chinese, since that forces one to think more clearly about what one really means, so it is a good discipline for the soul to explain one’s own times to someone from ages past, and so begin to see them as they really are.
* I had to look up tire-woman.  It means lady’s maid, tire being short for attire.

Suddenly, the whole chapel lit up with a supernatural light and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached the ceiling. In a clearer light, on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man with His body to the waist, on His chest a dove, equally luminous; and nailed to the cross, the body of another man. A little below the waist of Christ on the cross, suspended in the air, could be seen a chalice and a large host, onto which some drops of blood were falling, which flowed from the face of the crucified One and from the wound in His breast. Running down over the host, these drops fell into the chalice.

Under the right arm of the cross was our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand. Under the left arm in large letters, was something like crystalline water which flowed over the altar, forming these words: “Grace and Mercy”

This is the account that Sr Lucia gave of her vision on June 13th, 1929, when she was also told that the time had come to consecrate Russia. I have been wondering why the words ‘grace and mercy’ are traced out on the left side in what appeared to her like water only. It has always struck me as a strange detail. No doubt water can signify purity, and there is also an obvious reference to Jn. 19:34. But since He won grace and mercy for mankind by shedding His blood, and since that grace and mercy is brought into our souls when this same precious blood is mystically offered in the Mass, one might have thought that the words would have been traced out in blood, not in water.

It is rather a bold hypothesis, but I wonder if there could be an allusion here to the new order of Mass that would be brought into the Church by Paul VI exactly 40 years later, in 1969. If it is true that this new order is deficient because it fails to be rooted in apostolic tradition in the way that a Eucharistic liturgy must, then it is not unreasonable to suppose that the offering of this liturgy does not bring down upon the Church the same abundance of grace and mercy as a Eucharistic liturgy which is so rooted; that it brings fewer graces and less mercy. Could one even say, a watery grace and mercy? This hypothesis would, at any rate, explain a great deal about the present state of the world, and the apostasy in Christendom.

‘This is worse than Mordor!’ said Sam. ‘Much worse in a way. It comes home to you, as they say; because it is home, and you remember it before it was all ruined.’

‘Yes, this is Mordor,’ said Frodo. ‘Just one of its works.’

Unless some enterprising army general turns up pretty soon, the Catholics in Ireland are going to have the experience of beings strangers in their own lands, as their brethren in England and Wales have done for so long. Many people have commented on the vote, and will comment. Of the things I have read, two in particular have struck me. The first is yesterday’s sermon from the Prior of Silverstream, of which this is a part:

Friday’s vote was not about abortion only; it was about  killing Ireland’s soul, about snuffing out all that made Ireland a beacon among the nations, about publicly renouncing all that, from the time that Saint Patrick kindled his blazing fire on the Hill of Slane, made this island home of ours a great welcoming Catholic hearth in a world grown cold and dark.

The other was from Joseph Shaw, who observes among other things: “we are living in an integralist society, […] just not a Catholic one.”

But seeing the pictures of young women singing in the streets, I was reminded most of all of John Lamont’s important and difficult paper, ‘Conscience, Freedom, Rights: Idols of the Enlightenment’. He argues that the doctrines of conscience, human freedom, and rights, in the form in which they have become dominant in the last few hundred years, coalesce to what may truly be called a religion, which has the self as its object of worship. This explains, he argues, why the Enlightenment ideology has proved so successful in winning converts, despite the failure of its promises.

Its success rests on the fact that the Enlightenment offers a religious goal, in the form of an ultimate authority and good to be sought; that making the self that goal has a powerful appeal to human nature in its fallen state; and that the depth of sin involved in choosing this goal produces an extreme form of bondage and spiritual blindness which is very hard to break.

This goal has presented itself in different guises – as communism, Nazism or consumerism – but the fundamental concept and its appeal remains the same. It is the driving force behind the vulgar and base consumerism and sexual depravity that characterizes modern society. Previous non-Christian societies would have found these practices shameful and embarrassing. This natural human reaction is overridden, and even made use of, by the Enlightenment religion. This religion gives these forms of decadence a deeper meaning, the meaning of adoration of the deified self. The natural guilt and shame they provoke are transmuted into a proclamation of the self, which by rejecting the moral law is declaring its total supremacy.

The deep and sincere belief in the human right to have an abortion gets its strength from being the ultimate expression of the Enlightenment religion. It supporters understand that abortion is the murder of an innocent child, although they may not publicly proclaim this fact, or even consciously admit it to themselves. It is precisely its status as murder of the most innocent that makes abortion the triumph of the deified self as the ultimate end.

As I was shaking off sleep this morning, the first of the year in the city of man, an image came to my mind of a dragon’s mouth, open, black, evil, and drawing living men inside itself. The dragon’s head was raised above the globe of the earth, whence it could bend down and consume any man or city on the world’s surface. And it seemed to me that the dragon was not sitting upon the earth, but rather was coiled around it like a great serpent, as some sailors swear that monsters of the deep will coil themselves around a sailing ship at sea. And even as such serpents are said to crack a ship in two by tightening their coils ever more, so it seemed to me that the serpent with the dragon’s head that I saw coiled around the earth might by tightening itself a little crack the earth in two, and that those who dwelt upon it would fall I knew not where.

And as I pondered on the image, some words came to my mind, spoken a long, very long, life-time ago by a holy pope when first he sat upon the throne of Peter and looked out across the world:

We find extinguished among the majority of men all respect for the eternal God, and no regard paid in the manifestations of public and private life to the supreme Will – indeed, every effort and every artifice is used to destroy utterly the memory and knowledge of God. When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the ‘son of perdition’ of whom the Apostle speaks.

 

(For those who don’t know, clerihews are named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley, a school-boy friend of Gilbert Chesterton. Sitting next to Chesterton one day in a dull Chemistry class, he picked up his pen and in an inspired moment wrote these lines: ‘Sir Humphrey Davy/ detested gravy./ He lived in the odium/ of having discovered sodium’. Thus was born a new literary genre.)

 

JP II

We (with hindsight) love you.

You knew that a wedding ring

Wasn’t a bit of bling.

 

Papa Ratzinger

Was fond of cats; linger

He didn’t, but made himself ex

In a way that was bound to perplex.

 

Pope Jorge Bergoglio

Caused quite the imbroglio.

Did he enter the Church to destroy ‘er?

And who exactly was his employer?

 

 

 

 

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