Catholics and the End Times


#1

Don’t know if this is the forum, but since it will most assuredly affect our families, here we go.

What are everyone’s thoughts and is there specific church teaching about the end times for Catholics? How do you or are you going to prepare your families spiritually and physically?

Reasons for the question hit me this morning as I was listening to a talk show on the immigration debacle. I have thought this for a long time, but finally heard someone else say it - there is something much more sinister going on when the President is hell bent on allowing open borders and not closing it after 9/11, as well as giving amnesty to illegals, thus enticing more to come; the plans for the trans-Texas corridor, basically a highway from Mexico to Canada (I-35); reports and influence from the Coucil of Foreign Relations (CFR), and a planned launched in 2005 called the Security and Prosperity for North America, a meeting hosted by Bush in Waco with Vicente Fox and the PM of Canada (the government web site is www.spp.gov)). Add in the calls for the Fairness Doctrine (stomp the First Amendment), that the pending immigration bill would allow criminals and terrorists to stay by default, no overt efforts to do more to stop terrorism in the country, and Hillary’s plan for universal health care (government control of who lives and dies - look at it in other countries where it is abismal) and the redistribution of wealth (her words), and I honestly feel that someone is wanting and waiting for a massive terrorist attack. At which point the government steps in and crushes the Constitution. Sounds like conspiracy theory, but someone else give me a reason? Develop a North American Union, which you can research on line, and the end times’ warnings of “new world order” and “one world government” are starting to ring true (ten kingdoms, I believe, and we already have a European Union and a push for a North American one).

As for end times, as a Catholic, I don’t believe in the rapture, but pray to God if the end is coming, that there is a rapture and He takes my kids to spare them. I do believe Revelations is literal, however.

How to prepare? Praying for sure, but physically, I just don’t really know. Stock up on food and water; have backbacks with clothes; money and medicine; have a place to go hide, literally; arm yourself to defend family and self from the absolute chaos which will ensue.

Church teaching on the end times, besides “we don’t know the hour or the day?” As Catholics, do we defend ourselves by whatever means, or just give in because it is God’s plan? Do we fight back or die for faith?


#2

It’s not something I worry about. I remember Jesus’s words, Watch and Pray For You Know Not the Day or the Hour, and I simply try and live my life accordingly. All the worry and stress isn’t going to do me a bit of good.


#3

Absolutely. But do you not think you/we need to physically prepare to take care of ourselves as well as spiritually? There well may be nothing we can do anyway in the physical world; the government or whoever will do as they will. But I have a hard time thinking that God wants us to sit back and do nothing? Or maybe that is exactly what He wants as it would be pure faith?


#4

Jesus said let tomorrow worry for itself. What is so hard to understand about that? If you have faith, then entrust your family to His care.

Prognosticating the “end times” is an exercise in futility, I’ve found. Yes, there are signs. Yes, we need to be prepared spiritually. But if it has you in a panic, I would stop and take stock of how much you really trust God’s will for you and your family.


#5

Panic? No, but more worried each day. How can you not worry about your family?

Trust in God? Absolutely. Giving control to Him is not easy, but easier than potentially not having control or power to protect my family.

Think something is going to happen relatively soon? Yes, no doubt.

Part of God’s plan for this world? Again, yes.

So, do you not think you need to plan or prepare for emergencies or crises? Or plan, but just not obsess over it?


#6

The Rapture Trap by Paul Tighpen

Rapture - the End Times Myth that Leaves the Bible Behind by David Currie

Will Catholics be Left Behind? by Carl Olsen

The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn

All great books to explain what we say the the Creed “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kindom shall have no end”.


#7

Catholic teaching is that we have been in the end times since Jesus ascended into heaven.

At the risk of sounding like a stick-in-the-mud, I am going to refer you to two places…the first, of course, being the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

**686 **The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these “end times,” ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognized and welcomed as a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

go online to scborromeo.org/ccc/index/a.htm and plug in the phrase ‘end times’…learn all you can about the CATHOLIC teaching.

Go to the website biblechristiansociety.com and order, for free, the cd on the end times/rapture ect.

The Catholic Church, which teaches Truth, has a less exciting and/or sexier version than is possible but once you read and meditate on it one will feel much better about the entire question.


#8

We live in interesting times.

St Malachy’s prophecy on the pope is nearly up.
Israel is the fig tree in the bible, Jesus said when the fig tree comes back to life that he will return not long after.

Recently at mass the priest said some believe we are in the period as predicted in the book of revelation.

We can only get on with our lives, live life to please God and be thankful for what we have, no point worrying over it, just trust in God.


#9

If you would like to discuss physical and spiritual preparations, here is the link to a forum that talks about it from a Catholic point of view.


#10

Searching,

I have put quite a lot of thought into this very subject. The short version goes like this:

We cannot plan/prepare for EVERY possibility in the physical realm of the “end times”. Think about it for a minute- can you prepare for nuclear winter, Chinese invasion, biological attack, economic collapse, Sharia law, Mt. St. Helens mega-explosion, earthquakes, comet impact, Hillary presidency, etc. etc. etc.- AT THE SAME TIME?

What would you need to have?

Gas masks? The ability to hide forever from an invading army? A lead-lined underground bunker? A decades worth of food? Storehouses of antibiotics and 1st aid equipment? Massive seed supplies? A farm to grow them on? The skills and supplies to grow and can your own food? A barn full of livestock? Skills to weave and sew your own cloth from your sheep’s wool? To make soap and candles? How about repairing even rudimentary farming equipment?

Let’s suppose you COULD plan for EACH of these events at the same time, how could you defend these items of preparation 24/7 from a country FULL of other people who are not prepared. Think about them roaming in well armed gangs, starving and determined to take your things.

How far are you willing to play this scenario out?

My point? You can go crazy even trying to wrap your mind around it. So, I turned to the bible. There I found story after story of God providing for those He willed to protect. The Israelites eating manna in the desert. The survival of Adam and Eve after being thrown out of the garden. The widow who shared the last little bit of her food with Elijah, and then was able to survive the remainder of the famine b/c her oil and flower jars did not run dry.

The Lord does not expect us to be foolhardy, so I am prepared as I would be for a week long blizzard that shuts down the state (happened to me as a kid). I have a couple of candles, and will always live in a home with a basement and a fireplace. I always have enough canned goods for a week.

I choose to trust in the Lord. If he wants me and mine to survive a catastrophe of any sort, we will. If He wills to take us home, then no amount of preparation can save us. I will just try my best to be spiritually prepared (as much as possible) to meet Him today. Who knows? We could die in a car accident tomorrow. What would I say to the Lord then? I spent all my time worrying about a catastrophe, and didn’t take time to go to confession? I worried about my kids lives and NOT their souls?

Matthew 6:25-34

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


#11

Very well said, Seina


#12

It’s important to remember that the apostles also wrote to the effect that Jesus’ second coming would happen very soon…the point…we cannot know when we can not say it will happen relatively soon or not. What we do know is that we must life for the now --> in other words, we must live as if we may be called home at any moment (granted saying is harder than doing). We must prepare spiritually. We are called to be worry-free, for our heavenly Father will provide for us. Regardless of what exactly God has in store, we can be assured that He will care for His flock


#13

I’m with Siena. I try to make reasonable preparations for a disaster. The government urges us to do so - here’s a kit list from FEMA:

fema.gov/areyouready/assemble_disaster_supplies_kit.shtm

I’m prudent, but I refuse to be paranoid.


#14

There is a site that does the CD of the Month Club (lighthouse.com? catholiclighthouse.com? I’m sure many people here are familiar with it and can give the exact name.) They recently had a very good CD on Revelations and the end times. Well worth listening to. It gives an entirely different and *at least *equally reasonable view of what Revelations is all about. I would tend to think we all hear about the Rapture, etc., rather than the Catholic view, because it’s more dramatic and exciting.


#15

One of the great points of the Catholic view of the End Times is that you are in YOUR end times. Yor soul, your ability to help other souls is always in the final judgement we may die today, we may die in 70 years but sometime in the next 80 years we will all see “The End Times.” Should we be aware of the end of the world… yes only insofar as we reognise how important it is to preach the Gospel now more than ever!!! Your soul, your family and your neighbors should be ready for the end times this minute. Weather it is the apocalypse or your death. Go to confession often, pray for strength and understanding, compassion and wisdom. And most importantly LOVE God and one another.


#16

Personally I think it is vital to read the apocalyptic books in the Bible not as documents which are basically a ground plan for how present and future history is exactly going to evolve, but as symbolic statements relating to faith and the Jewish and Christian understanding of Jesus in their historical periods.

If for example, there is a nuclear holocaust (as some end-time Christian fundamentalists predict to be an event predicted in Revelation) then stocking up food is pretty pointless; in a major nuclear exchange, most cities will be destroyed and (assuming the U.S. was a target) about 70-100 million people would be dead or dying within a week of the event. Millions more would perish in the aftermath from radiation poisoning, starvation, riots and the breakdown of law and order, disease and other factors. If there was also a nuclear winter it is likely even more would die. It would only take about 3-400 nuclear warheads to destroy all major U.S. cities with populations of more than 100,000 people, and the Russian nuclear arsenal has several thousand nuclear warheads. In a full-scale nuclear exchange around 1,000 to 7,000 warheads may be used on military and civilian targets, so there would not be much left in any aftermath. There is not much of a world left for the ‘elect’ to enjoy after such a holocaust.

The collapse of the economy in the aftermath of a nuclear war and the damage done to the agricultural sector, along with the fact transportation networks would be paralysed as oil refineries would be a primary target in a major nuclear exchange, would mean ultimately only a fraction of the pre-war population would survive. Even if one stockpiled food for say one month or two, those food reserves are going to run out quite quickly and then one is left with basically nothing; and in a nuclear war most power stations and energy facilities will be targets and will be destroyed and severely damaged. This means no cooking facilities, no water supply, nothing to power a home, and today’s cars would have their electronic ignition systems fried by EMP which would be used to destroy the U.S.'s electronics and computer systems early in the War. Basically an nuclear conflict would take the U.S. back to the 19th century in terms of development.

All in all, if there was a major holocaust such as a nuclear war, outbreak of a pandemic, asteroid impact, etc, in the U.S. and authority and law and order broke down, the chances of one surviving are fairly slim, in fact very remote, however one prepared for it.

As a Christian, Catholic or otherwise, I’ve always believed the ‘rapture’ and literal attempts to read current or future history from the scriptures to be basically nonsense. We can look at the predictions of people like the JW’s for example, who predicted the world would end based on certain interpretations of the eschatological books of the bible with the assumption it was a calendar for armageddon. The world was supposed to end on a certain date and the date passed, then another date was made, and nothing happened. And so on…and this was in the 19th century.

Eschatology is an essential part of the Bible and its message, and the apocalyptic genre of Biblical books attempts to dramatically bring into the present God’s power to bring evil, suffering and injustice to an end, in the face of the world’s seeming wickedness and injustice, particularly towards the poor, oppressed, and marginalised. This theme runs through the canonical apocalypses as well as the apocryphal ones such as Esdras, Enoch, Gospel of Peter and so on. The response one makes is not fear and terror that the world is going to end, but an immediate decision to turn away from selfishness and sin and to conversion of the heart and mind to the will and love of God, and in doing so, walking rightly on the Earth in intimate union with God. Expecting to be miraculously raptured into heaven and acting as if the world is going to end tomorrow is in my view foolish and completely irrational, but trusting patiently for God to come into one’s life as a loving prescence and hoping for a better future, and acting to build one for oneself, one’s family, and one’s country, is rational as well as a beautiful faith.


#17

I have to let you in on an Native Californian Joke.

How can you tell if your neighbor is a native Californian?

Their earthquake disaster kit contains one bungee cord, a flashlight with no batteries and a bottle of scotch.


#18

:wink: Sounds like my mother-in-law’s kit, except hers has brandy.:smiley: She is a naturalized Californian, having lived there since 1948, from Austria.

Everybody else has given Church position on the whole End Times.

:twocents: To my Catholic mind, when it’s the End of the World, we are going to know it. There isn’t going to be any way to escape it. Might as well take out the old lawn chair, pour the last of the iced tea in your glass, and wait your turn. In the meantime, just keep doing what the good Lord would have you do.


#19

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