Apocalyptic for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed

by Bernard Brandt

four horsemen

Albrecht Durer, ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

For me, I suppose it started, not with The Late Great Planet Earth, but with an idle comment made by a guest of the late William F. Buckley’s television talk show, Firing Line, back in 1979 or so. Buckley asked his guest, a brilliant and consummately educated Jesuit priest, just what the priest thought of Hal Lindsey’s little potboiler.

The priest paused for a second, and then said, “Let me tell you this story. I was at a great Eucharistic Convention which took place in Philadelphia a few years ago. At that convention there was a European Cardinal who spoke warmly, articulately, and knowledgeably throughout that Convention. At its end, His Eminence said to the vast audience there: ‘It is good that we are here together now, my brothers and sisters in Christ. But it is perhaps good also to consider that these may in fact be the Last Days.’

The priest paused again, and then said, “And the following year, that Cardinal was re-named as Pope John Paul the Second.”  Buckley nodded, was silent for a few seconds, and then changed the subject. I was silent too, for a time. But I kept that memory in my heart.

That memory nagged at me, and a part of me for long afterwards has been putting together an occasional fact here and there ever since. Let me tell you what I found.

I found first, as should not be surprising to many of my three or four readers, that most of what has been written about the last times has been utter and absolute rot. Most particularly, that claim by so many of the advocates of Christianity Lite, that the Faithful will be taken up into Heaven before any of the nastiness of the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials of St. John’s Apocalypse come to pass.

Wrong. The words in my mind, and the music that goes with them, were spoken and sung in Handel’s Messiah, with the text taken from the Apostle Paul: ‘Behold, I tell you a Mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be raised, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the Last Trumpet.’

Thus, if all Scripture is connected (which I believe, together with the belief that God’s other creation, the Universe, is intimately connected), then at least two thirds of the serious er, stuff, will be accomplished before the Apostle Paul’s promise is fulfilled. And if, as some have suggested, the woes of the seals, the trumpets, and the vials will occur concurrently, then ALL of those woes will be accomplished before the remaining faithful in Christ will be taken up into Heaven. Sorry for all you wishful thinking Prots out there.

I have only found two decent presentations of the Revelation of St. John, in all my decades of searching. The first, of course, came from an Orthodox monk, and can be found here. It has been provided through the courtesy of one of the most intelligent and wise people that I know, Professor Bruce Charlton, whose weblog may be found here.

The second was from Sir Isaac Newton, in his Observations Upon the Prophesies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John, an e-text of which may be found here. That book, published in 1733, six years after his death, contains one of the most elegant and probing exegeses of Scripture that I have ever read. In the first chapter, Newton delineates the order of writing of the books of the Old Testament (Torah, Writings, Prophets), and anticipates by more than a century a number of the findings of 19th century biblical source criticism. In the second chapter, he provides a key to the symbolic language of the prophets. With that groundwork laid, he proceeds to a close examination of the OT Book of Daniel, and the NT Revelation of St. John.

Without going into detail as to his argument, Newton comes to the conclusion, implied in his text, and stated explicitly elsewhere, that the Last Days can not begin any earlier than 2012, and will most likely be completed by or before 2060.

As to the findings of Roman Catholic private revelation, I have already mentioned in a previous entry the Prophesy of St. Malachy. According to it, our present pontiff, Pope Francis I, is the last pope. Either he, or a so far unknown successor, is ‘Petrus Romanus’, who will lead His people through many tribulations until the Dread Judge comes to end the world. I learned of this prophesy about a year or so ago.

Last week, I learned of the Prophesy of La Sallette. I would invite my readers to read this also. But beware! Reading this has occasioned a crisis in faith for and in me. It has done so for two reasons. The first is that this is not simply a private revelation, but one which has been vouched for by two great popes and saints, and the longest and second longest reigning pontiffs in the history of the Roman Catholic Church: Pope Saint Pius IX and Pope Saint Joannes Paulus Magnus.

The second reason is the messages given by Our Blessed Lady in those Prophesies. Those messages, made in 1851 and gradually released by 1876, can be summed up as follows.

–That in the event Christians do not repent and turn toward the Lord, His great wrath will be broken upon us.

–That France will lose the Faith; three quarters of them will no longer practice it, and those who do will do so poorly.

— That hell will reign on earth. It will be then that the Antichrist will be born … That time is not far away, twice 50 years will not go by (or before 1951)

— That a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it. All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand.”

–That “The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests, by their wicked lives, by their irreverence and their impiety in the celebration of the holy mysteries, by their love of money, their love of honors and pleasures, and the priests have become cesspools of impurity. Yes, the priests are asking vengeance, and vengeance is hanging over their heads. Woe to the priests and to those dedicated to God who by their unfaithfulness and their wicked lives are crucifying my Son again! The sins of those dedicated to God cry out towards Heaven and call for vengeance, and now vengeance is at their door, for there is no one left to beg mercy and forgiveness for the people. There are no more generous souls; there is no one left worthy of offering a stainless sacrifice to the Eternal for the sake of the world.”

There is a great deal more there, but I can not bear to repeat it. All that I can tell you is that most of the events prophesied by our Lady of LaSalette have come to pass. And we are told that Antichrist will be on the scene by the year 2000.

These would appear to be the Last Days. There is no hope that Christians will be ‘raptured’ away from those woes. Indeed, it is more than likely that Christians will be persecuted above all others. Nature itself is preparing her revenge against us. Antichrist is on the scene, but has not revealed himself as yet. The Whore of Babylon is already among us. She is called the modern media. All that awaits is the rise of the Beast upon which She will ride. And, with the approach of The Singularity, that is not far from happening.

POSTSCRIPTUM: Through the kindness of my dear friend, Keith Klein, I have found that there is some doubt as to the Third Secret of LaSalette, whether it is in fact the words of our Blessed Lady, or if they have been later placed in Her mouth by one of those to whom the Secrets had been given. An article expressing the reasons for those doubts may be found here. Thus, that Secret should perhaps be taken cum grano salis, to say the least. For this reason, while I have kept the (possibly) offending texts, I have stricken through those lines. Nonetheless, even without them, there are still very strong indicia from the remainder that, in the words of the poet, ‘the hour is getting late.’