the end times?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Oct 13, 2005

“Are We Living in Apocalyptic Times?”

Michael O'Brien, the very thoughtful Catholic artist and author of Father Elijah and other novels, asks that question and gives a long, provocative answer.

Just a quick sample:

And if so, how will our enslavement be accomplished? It will be accomplished by increasing the voltage of state power combined with a gradual decreasing of civil rights, the lifting of burdensome responsibilities from our shoulders combined with the increase of pleasurable rewards, the growth of a power class of “knowers”, who enshrine a multi-faceted gnosticism in organs of institutional governance. If at the same time, man’s ability to exercise his healthy critical and analytical faculties has been limited by corrupt education, by media indoctrination, and by a generalized loss of the sense of human identity, the new world order can be achieved—and achieved most effectively, it should be noted, to the degree that it is understood as a “moral” cause, a great leap forward in the name of humanity.

O'Brien's approach is not sensationalistic, but it is sobering. Definitely worth a read.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2005 9:58 PM ET USA

    O'Brien says it clearly: "the conceptual framework in which the time of the end should be considered by every generation of Christians. We are living in the final hour, and have been living in this hour from the moment Our Lord ascended into heaven. All of subsequent history is a waiting-for his return. These past two thousand years are the last days." And this is what the Church always teaches: that we should always be ready.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2005 8:42 AM ET USA

    John, the "Rapture" theory is a cut and paste job based on "me-ism" and Cross rejection - it's no accident that its biggest fans also adhere to the wealth and health gospel. It could very well be what causes the loss of belief ("Satan's in charge, I'm still stuck here so I must be going to hell, might as well give up") . Seriously, please don't buy into it.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2005 2:11 AM ET USA

    I remember reading an E. Orthodox theologian (forget who, though) who stated (my paraphrase) that every time of the Christian era is apocalyptic, that every generation since the Resurrection & Ascension of Christ can correctly believe that it is in the last days. I don't think it matters whether the Second Coming comes next year or in two billion years. Death is our individual apocalypse. Our duty as Christians is to prepare ourselves for Heaven, whenever (& however) our apocalypse happens.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 13, 2005 2:16 PM ET USA

    And if so, how will our enslavement be accomplished? etc. Very, very accurate in the civil sense. This is in fact already taking place. However, I find even more intriguing the quote from the Catechism that states, "... which will cause His Bride to come down from Heaven..." Obviously, for "the Bride" that is the Church, to "come down..." that Bride would have to "be up" that is, in Heaven in the first place. And "the Rapture" is not generally considered a Catholic position?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 13, 2005 1:57 PM ET USA

    Thanks Diogenes. I always enjoy reading Michael O'Brien. For anyone interested in his material, you can find it here:

  • Posted by: - Oct. 13, 2005 12:19 PM ET USA

    Yes ... very thoughtful. The Church is being crucified by states that persecute her, by prelates that scandalize and lead her members astray, by a culture that is her direct antithesis. Add to this the fact that most Catholics are ignorant and indifferent to the Truth and you have the stage well set for the devil's feast that will follow. Ecumaniacs will unify "believers" into a one world religion that will feed and offend no one. Tragically, its members will fall away and die the death.