And it is reasonable, for what is the antithesis of Baptism except the total negation of concern for God’s truth and His will, that is, that one should believe what one wishes, completely independent of God, and that one should do as he wishes, without regard or recourse to Divine Law in any sense? For surely, the one who negates even the base Sacramental disposition of Baptism is negating the very mode of being that is necessary for salvation and so makes oneself an utter enemy of God.
And further, if it is true that the other sacrament retained by heretics, Marriage, is the supreme sign on earth of our ultimate calling, which is eternal marriage to God in the world to come, what is the antithesis of this sign except the lie of the dragon that one needn’t seek this heavenly marriage and rather choose to “fornicate” with this world, with this life, with its fleeting and transitory goods, as if the pleasures, possessions and egotistical accomplishments of this life can fulfill the human person in place of the only One who truly can, the Eternal God that made us for unending union with Him?
Therefore, we can see that the twisting of these base forms of goodness, the remnant sacraments of here **TICS **, that is, Baptism and Marriage, form the ultimate basis of all that is wicked, and that, therefore, becomes the ultimate here **SY **.
**The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast **
[FONT=Verdana]What also can we say of the contrast between the Seal of God in the forehead in chapter 7 of the Apocalypse and the infamous Mark of the Beast in the forehead or hand in Apocalypse 13? Obviously, they are spiritual. But how can we view them?
Well, use common sense. Does not the forehead cover the mind, which is the gateway of the INTELLECT of the soul? And what is the object of our intellect except God’s truth, that we may know Him and how He relates to us, in order that we may know His general will and desire to follow it unto the consummation with Him in eternity?
And what is the hand except the symbol of the “works of our hands”, which is really the works we do with our will, in so far as that we shall judged by our “works”?
How much more so should the protection of the Seal of God and the chastity of them who receive it be seen as really chastity of *faith *, ***that one’s intellect is not “harmed” by false doctrine ***. And why? Well, surely, as the Church teaches, the truths of God are the perennial foundation of our existence. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” And again, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, and even, “I came into the world to testify to the truth. For, whoever desires to know the truth listens to My voice.”
But if the Seal of God protects one from the stain of false teaching, keeping one a “virgin and chaste” as regards doctrine, how can it mean anything except faithfulness to ALL of Catholicism, for only the true Bride of Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, has the fullness of truth without any stain of error, seeing as she is guided infallibly by the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Sanctifier of the human race?
Further, if we do see the Seal as this protection of Catholic infallibility in doctrine, then it follows that the Trumpets of the apocalypse that digress from that Sealing in chapter 7 down to the Mark of the Beast in chapter 13 can be progressive “doctrinal harms” of various degrees (the rise of greater affronts to Catholicism, such as Islam, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, “Enlightenment”, …) culminating with utter depravity in the intellect and will, the Mark of the Beast, where one would have the SUPREME spirit of stain of doctrinal deficiency, ***total apostasy ***, either through explicit rejection of all religious truth (as in the atheist) or utter indifference to such questions, despairing that anything can be known absolutely and for certain about God and the Divine (as in relativism).
That is, the Mark of the Beast becomes the ultimate culmination of the progressive doctrinal attacks on Catholic teaching, where man, in his “forehead”, or mind, considers himself the ultimate arbiter of truth, completely independent of God or even anything that is claimed of God (“who exalts himself above ALL that is called God or that is worshipped”, regarding the man of sin in 2 Thes. 2), and who, therefore, in his “hand”, having turned fully aside from the question of God’s truth, chooses to make the *works *of his “hands” his own, doing his own will without regard for God’s will, that is, total depravity in will.
These are just some meditations to apply to our own age, which is plagued with much indifference to religion, a spirit of neo-paganism, and a widespread materialism that is veritably like we discussed with the Whore of Babylon above.