The Holy Fathers, we say, are of supreme authority, whenever they all interpret in one and the same manner any text of the Bible, as pertaining to the doctrine of faith or morals; for their unanimity clearly evinces that such interpretation has come down from the Apostles as a matter of Catholic faith (38, Providentissimus Deus).
We receive those doctrines which they thus teach, not merely because they teach them, but because they bear witness that all Christians everywhere then held them (45, John Henry Newman on Antichrist in the Church Fathers).
LOVE the Word(TM) is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice. This week’s LOVE the Word(TM) exercise is based on an Augustinian* personality approach. Go on! Try it!
Listen (Receive the Word)
1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, 12 so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess 2).
Observe (Connect the passage to recent events.)
In verses 1-2, why is the Holy Spirit writing to you through Paul? What recent event(s) caused this “shaken” reaction in you?
What is the deception St. Paul speaks of in verse 3? What does this deception have to do with you?
What/who do you suppose the “restrainer” is in verses 6-7? How does, or does, the “restrainer” affect you?
Can you imagine what verse 8 will be like?
What is the danger Paul is warning you of in 9-15? According to the Holy Spirit in these same verses, what is your protection from this danger?
Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
What feelings and thoughts arose in your heart and mind as you pondered these questions? What do you want to tell Him about that?
Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Lord, may my trust in your perfect love cast out all my fear (1 Jn 4:18).
*LOVE the Word(TM) exercises, vary weekly according to the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Ignatian, Augustinian, Franciscan, and Thomistic.
Sonja’s Important Eschatological Qualification
Catholic eschatology is what’s called “speculative theology.” This designation means little has been defined by the Magisterium concerning the end times, so the subject is open for speculation and development by Catholics seeking truth via Sacred Tradition (history) and Sacred Scripture. I attempt throughout the series to make clear what is public revelation and therefore part of the Deposit of Faith, and what is private revelation and not a matter of adherence. I do not present unapproved private revelation in this series.
Scripture References for the Show
2 Thessalonians 2:15, Hold fast to the traditions, both oral and written, because there will be a deception in the end times.
Daniel 12:10, In the end, none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.
‘In things of faith and morals, the true sense of Holy Scripture is held by the Church, whose place it is to judge the interpretation of the Scriptures (1 Tim 3:15); and it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers'( 34). ‘What can be a greater sign of pride than to refuse to study the Books of the divine mysteries by the help of those who have interpreted them?’ (37, Providentissimus Deus).
How to read St. John’s Apocalypse, or the Book of Revelation
Through Lens of History and Timeline
- AD 63-64 St. Peter is crucified upside-down by Nero
- AD 66 Jewish revolt against Florus spreads throughout Judea in “Jewish War”
- AD 68 Nero commits suicide
- AD 69 Gospel of Mark written
- 70 Romans sack and burn Jerusalem, complete destruction of Old Covenant “world”
- 73 Jews at Masada commit suicide
- 75 Book of Hebrews written
- 85-90 Gospels Matthew and Luke and Book of Acts written
- 90-95 Gospel of John completed
- 93 Josephus writes Antiquities of the Jews, a Jewish history through post-biblical times
- 95 John exiled to Patmos, writes his revelations
As the Heavenly Liturgy
- Revelation 1:1-11:18 Liturgy of the Word
- Revelation 11:19-22:21 Liturgy of the Eucharist
As Eschatological (see Major Chastisement references, below)
Catholic Eschatology Timeline
Minor Chastisement or Tribulation (conditional, and mostly part of approved private revelations, such as Fatima, Lourdes, Betania, and Sallette)
- Western Church scourged with heresy
- Civil wars in Italy and France, then England
- Famine, pestilence, natural disasters
- Muslim ascendency
- Russia invades Europe
- Pope flees Rome, is murdered
- Great saint elected Pope, helps bring great military leader to ascendancy
- Military leader defeats all enemies, including Russians and Muslims
- Interior illumination from Jesus (Betania)
Age of Peace (Age of the Holy Spirit & Mary, details from public and private revelation)
- Time of normalcy for repentance (2 Thess 2:7; Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30)
- Establishment of New Roman Empire, new Pax Romana (Dan. 2)
- Restoration of Catholic faith and practice over whole earth
- Reunion of Christians and fullness of the Gentiles
- Pope calls Ecumenical Council that settles Scripture
- People prosper, Church prospers, faith prospers
- People grow lax
- Universal apostasy (2 Thess. 2:2-3) which facilitates rise of final Antichrist
Major Chastisement or Great Tribulation (mostly public revelation)
- Ten kingdoms of new HRE dismantled, three are crushed (Dan. 7-8)
- False prophet comes to power, prepares way for supreme and final Antichrist (Rev. 13)
- 3 ½ year reign of supreme Antichrist, severe persecution of Christians, some say he will be Jewish from tribe of Dan (Gen 49:17, Jer 8:16) – his entire visibility will be seven years
- “Two Witnesses,” possibly Enoch and Elijah, preach Gospel throughout earth (Rev. 11)
- Mass conversion of Jews and conversion of nations (Rom. 11)
- Antichrist murders two witnesses who are resurrected (Rev 11)
- Antichrist attempts “Ascension” (Dan 8:25, Is 14)
- Death of Antichrist by St. Michael the Archangel (Is 14)
- “Immediately after” (Matt 24:29), three days of darkness and the Parousia! Antichrist shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming (2 Thess 2:8).
- CCC 568-573, Resurrection of the Dead and Judgment, New Heaven and New Earth (Rev. 20-21)
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