How should we react to apocalyptic messages of warning, punishment and
Our attitude toward those messages should be one of faith, hope and charity. We should listen to
them with the knowledge that Christ's message is both incarnational and eschatological, meaning
is a message both for the transformation of this world and its ultimate fulfillment in eternity.
- Attempts to date and localize the end times have been made all
through the centuries. To no avail! So far nobody succeeded in
accurately predicting the final days of our world; the many
prophecies to that effect did not come to fruition.
- According to Mk 13,32 and Mt 24,36 nobody is privy to the date of
final judgment or parusia, that is "neither the angels in heaven nor the Son,
only the Father." One may conclude that Our Lady is included among
those who do not know.
- The Church rejects (see DS 3839) or at least regards critically
all forms of millenarism, meaning that after a time of trial Christ
returning to earth would reign during thousand years before the
reapparition of Satan and the end of times. St. Augustine, after
having espoused a moderate millenarism eventually rejected it
- The End Times began with Jesus Christ. Prophets of the Old Testament foresaw Jesus as the
harbinger of creation's new age. Jesus began the new creation and this means that the battle
between Antichrists and the Church has already begun. The battle of the end times was engaged
when Christ changed our existence by His Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection.
- It is true that a number of apparitions contain announcements of
apocalyptic events, some of them partial, others radical or total. A
partial apocalypse predicts impending catastrophes and punishment in
the form of warfare, natural disaster, attacks by demons, fire falling
from the sky, and persecution of the Church. The radical form of
apocalypticism refers to Christ's imminent and second coming and the
end of times. Where there is mention of apocalyptic events, the
majority of apparitions announce the partial form.
- There are, however, prophetic elements in most of the known
apparitions. Whereas apocalyptic elements influence the message's
recipient in the sense of fear, despair or pathological
sensationalism, the prophetic elements subordinate warnings and
announcements of punishment to faith and hope in God's mercy. They
call the present generation to repentance, conversion and charitable
- The Church has been entrusted by Christ to safeguard his message,
its understanding and interpretation. All messages of private
revelation, if they become of public domain, need to be read in the
light of the Church's doctrine and ecclesiastical praxis of past and
present. The Church has never condoned apocalyptic agendas. On the
contrary, the Church speaks of new evangelization, new Pentecost and
a new Christian Millennium. This is not to say that the Church
rejects the pressing invitation to prayer, repentance and conversion.
They are part of the permanent message of the Gospel.
- In the face of growing apocalypticism it is important to point out
- Good and evil, sin and grace, personal responsibility and final judgment
are integral aspects of Christian faith and not to be minimized.
- We are all in need of an attitude of permanent conversion which
sometimes should take on the expression of a radical conversion.
- We need to adopt a critical stance toward much of what is going on
in this world: we ought to remind ourselves that we are not of this
world and therefore ought to see it with eyes of faith.
- The urgency of most warnings is to be heeded: now is our best time
for conversion; God speaks to us now, he wants us as his sons and
daughters now. Here lies the immediate practicality of apocalypticism.
Each one of us is confronted with his/her personal apocalypse, meaning
the epiphany of God in our life presenting us now with the challenge of a
personal decision for or against him.
- It is not without importance to remember St. Anselm of Canterbury's
description of Mary as mater rerum recreatarum (mother of recreated
realities). Her role is one of recreating and healing, and not of
destruction. Whatever the warnings, whatever the messages of
conversion and recreation, Mary's role is always constructive.
- The reports and stories of Our Lady's re-appearances on earth serve to remind the Church
that she has a special mission to help Christians amidst the routine of their daily life in this modern
world. Mary is Our Lady of the End Times. She is a caring instrument of the Holy Spirit who
constantly intercedes for us before God. By her life, her activities in heaven, and the many reports
of her re-appearances today, Mary has given the Church a message of hope and redemption. The
key to receiving Mary's message is our disposition and attitude. May we strive to make this time
an Age of Mary through devotion to her and by instilling in our lives a passionate dedication of
service to God and our fellow man.
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