27 August 2013

"Sacrificed on the altar of an imaginary democracy..."

From a warning against war in Syria by a representative of the schismatic Patriarchate of Moscow, this quote refers to the likely fate of Christians in the Middle East, about whose fate he rightly notes that "no one cares."

Excellent food for thought and grist for prayer at Rorate Caeli.



The State of Things, and the Need

And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them: because they were distressed, and lying like sheep that have no shepherd.

-- Matthew 9:36
* * *

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world... 

--Yeats, The Second Coming
* * *


"Eh well," said the Pope in delicate French; "I am arrived in time then."

He looked round from side to side, smiling and peering—this little commonplace-looking Frenchman, who had in his hand at this period of the world's history an incalculably greater power than any living being on earth had ever before wielded—Father of Princes and Kings, Arbiter of the East, Father as well as Sovereign Lord of considerably more than a thousand million souls. He stood there, utterly alone with a single servant waiting out there, half a mile away, at the flying-stage, in the presence of the Council who in the name of the malcontents of the human race had declared war on the world of which he was now all but absolute master. No European nation could pass a law which he had not the right to veto; not one monarch claimed to hold his crown except at the hands of this man. And the East—even the pagan East—had learned at last that the Vicar of Christ was the Friend of Peace and Progress.

And he stood here, smiling and peering at the faces.

"I come as my own envoy," said the Pope presently, adjusting his collar. "'The King said, "They will reverence My Son,"' so I am come as the Vicar of that Son. You have killed my two messengers, I hear. Why have you done that?"

There was no answer. From where the priest stood he could hear laboured breathing on all sides, but not a man moved or spoke.

"Eh well then, I have come to offer you a last opportunity of submitting peacefully. In less than an hour from now the armed truce expires. After that we shall be compelled to use force. We do not wish to use force; but society must now protect itself. I do not speak to you in the name of Christ; that name means nothing to you. So I speak in the name of society, which you profess to love. Submit, gentlemen, and let me be the bearer of the good news."

He spoke still in that absolutely quiet and conversational tone in which he had begun. One hand rested lightly on the rail before him; the other gently fingered the great cross on his breast, naturally and easily, as the priest had seen him finger it once before in his own palace. It was unthinkable that such a weight in the world's history rested on so slight a foundation. Yet for a few frozen moments no one else moved or spoke. It is probable that the scene they witnessed seemed to them unsubstantial and untrue.

Then, as the priest still stood, fascinated and overwhelmed, he noticed a movement in the great chair before him. Very slowly the President shifted his position, clasping his hands loosely before him and bending forward a little. Then a dialogue began, of which every word remained in the priest's mind as if written there. It was in French throughout, the smooth delicacy of the Pope's intonation contrasting strangely with the heavy German accent of the other.

"You come as an envoy, sir. Do you then accept our terms?"

"I accept no terms. I offer them."

"And those?"

"Absolute and unconditional submission to myself."

[...]

Then, to the priest's eyes, it seemed as if some subtle change passed over his face and figure. Up to now he had spoken, conversationally and quietly, as a man might speak to a company of friends. But, though he had not noticed it at the time, he remembered later how there had been gathering during his little speech a certain secret intensity and force like the kindling of a fire. In this pause it swept on and up, flushing his face with sudden colour, lifting his hands as on a rising tide, breaking out suddenly in his eyes like fire, and in his voice in passion. The rest saw it too; and in that tense atmosphere it laid hold of them as with a giant's hand; it struck their tight-strung nerves; it broke down the last barriers on which their own fears had been at work.
 
"My children," cried the White Father, no longer a Frenchman now, but a very Son of Man. "My children, do not break my heart! So long and hard the labour—two thousand years long—two thousand years since Christ died; and you to wreck and break the peace that comes at last; that peace into which through so great tribulations the people of God are entering at last. You say you know no God, and cannot love Him; but you know man—-poor wilful man—and would you fling him back once more into wrath and passion and lust for blood?—those lusts from which even now he might pass to peace if it were not for you. You say that Christ is hard—that His Church is cruel, and that man must have liberty? I too say that man must have liberty—he was made for it; but what liberty would that be which he has not learned to use?


"My children! have pity on men, and on me who strive to be their father. Never yet has Christ reigned on earth till now—Christ who Himself died, as I, His poor servant, am ready to die a thousand times, if men may but themselves learn to die to self and to live to Him. Have pity, then, on the world you love and hope to serve. Serve it indeed as best you can. Let us serve it together!"


There was an instant's silence.


He stood there, his hands clasped in agony upon his cross. Then he flung his hands wide in sudden, silent appeal.


There was a crash of an overturned desk; the crying out of desperate voices all together, and as from the great tower overhead there beat out the first stroke of midnight, the priest, on his knees now, saw through eyes blind with tears, figures moving and falling and kneeling towards that central form that stood there, a white pillar of Royalty and sorrow, calling for the last time all the world unto him.

-- Robert Hugh Benson, The Dawn of All

___________________

We are Christ's sacramental, incarnate, visible Church.
We just want to be Catholic.  
___________________

And another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat upon the cloud: Thrust in thy sickle and reap, because the hour is come to reap. For the harvest of the earth is ripe.

--Apocalypse 14:15

Not So Fast

The Pope Emeritus' Secretary says the story that Benedict abdicated as a result of direction from a mystical experience is a fabrication:


VATICAN CITY — Archbishop Georg Ganswein, retired Pope Benedict XVI’s longtime personal secretary, said a story about the pope resigning after a “mystical experience” was completely invented.

“It was invented from alpha to omega,” the archbishop said Aug. 24 in an interview on Italy’s Canale 5 television news. “There is nothing true in the article.”


Confusion reigns these days on most fronts.


22 August 2013

Aiming for the Lowest Common Corenominator


And a brief but insightful commentary here.

New slogan for Catholic schools:  I Can't Believe It's Not Public School!

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary




Today is the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Heart. It's also the commemoration of the feast of Saints Timotheus, Symphorian, and Hippolytus, all of whom were martyred under different Roman emperors.


Almighty and everlasting God, who didst prepare in the Heart of the blessed Virgin Mary a worthy dwelling-place for the Holy Ghost; mercifully grant that we who most devoutly contemplate the festívity of the same Immaculate Heart, may be enabled to live according to thy Heart.






OFFERING the Immaculate Lamb to Thy Majesty, O Lord, we beg that the divine fire which ineffably inflamed the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary may be lighted in our hearts. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


REFRESHED by divine gifts we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the solemnity of whose Immaculate Heart we have just venerated, we may be freed from present dangers and may attain to the joys of eternal life. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

21 August 2013

"They Won't Keep Pace with Life, but Want to Go Faster"




"Look at you folk at Sellanraa, now; looking up at blue peaks every day of your lives; no new-fangled inventions about that, but fjeld and rocky peaks, rooted deep in the past—but you've them for companionship. There you are, living in touch with heaven and earth, one with them, one with all these wide, deep-rooted things. No need of a sword in your hands, you go through life bareheaded, barehanded, in the midst of a great kindliness. Look, Nature's there, for you and yours to have and enjoy. Man and Nature don't bombard each other, but agree; they don't compete, race one against the other, but go together. There's you Sellanraa folk, in all this, living there. Fjeld and forest, moors and meadow, and sky and stars—oh, 'tis not poor and sparingly counted out, but without measure. Listen to me, Sivert: you be content! You've everything to live on, everything to live for, everything to believe in; being born and bringing forth, you are the needful on earth. 'Tis not all that are so, but you are so; needful on earth. 'Tis you that maintain life. Generation to generation, breeding ever anew; and when you die, the new stock goes on. That's the meaning of eternal life. What do you get out of it? An existence innocently and properly set towards all. What you get out of it? Nothing can put you under orders and lord it over you Sellanraa folk, you've peace and authority and this great kindliness all round. That's what you get for it.

[...]

“Tis not money the country wants, there's more than enough of it already; 'tis men like your father there's not enough of. Ay, turning the means to an end in itself and being proud of it! They're mad, diseased; they don't work, they know nothing of the plough, only the dice. Mighty deserving of them, isn't it, working and wasting themselves to nothing in their own mad way. Look at them—staking everything, aren't they? There's but this much wrong with it all; they forget that gambling isn't courage, 'tis not even foolhardy courage, 'tis a horror. D'you know what gambling is? 'Tis fear, with the sweat on your brow, that's what it is. What's wrong with them is, they won't keep pace with life, but want to go faster—race on, tear on ahead, driving themselves into life itself like wedges. And then the flanks of them say: here, stop, there's something breaking, find a remedy; stop, say the flanks! And then life crushes them, politely but firmly crushes them. And then they set to complaining about life, raging against life! Each to his own taste; some may have ground to complain, others not, but there's none should rage against life. Not be stern and strict and just with life, but be merciful to it, and take its part; only think of the gamblers life has to bear with!”

Excerpt From: Hamsun, Knut. “Growth of the Soil.”

Don't worry, dulac, it's the last one; maybe you should reread Brideshead.

Benedict Says God Told Him to Abdicate

And in what he describes as a mystical experience, according to the UK Guardian:

Former pope Benedict greets Pope Francis at the Vatican

The former pope Benedict has claimed that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a "mystical experience".

Breaking his silence for the first time since he became the first pope to step down in 600 years, the 86-year-old reportedly said: "God told me to" when asked what had pushed him to retire to a secluded residence in the Vatican gardens.

Benedict denied he had been visited by an apparition or had heard God's voice, but said he had undergone a "mystical experience" during which God had inspired in him an "absolute desire" to dedicate his life to prayer rather than push on as pope.

The German ex-pontiff's comments, which are said to have been made a few weeks ago, were reported by the Catholic news agency Zenit, which did not name the person Benedict had spoken to.

 [...]

Benedict said his mystical experience had lasted months, building his desire to create a direct and exclusive relationship with God. Now, after witnessing the "charisma" of his successor, Pope Francis, Benedict said he understood to a greater extent how his stepping aside was the "will of God".

 [...]

Zenit reported that Benedict has stuck to his plan to live a life of secluded prayer, receiving very few visitors at his house in the Vatican's gardens, which enjoys views across Rome to the Apennine mountains beyond.

"During these meetings, the ex-pontiff does not comment, does not reveal secrets, does not make statements that could be understood as 'the words of the other pope', but is as reserved as he has always been," wrote Zenit.

[...]
Benedict took his first day trip out of the Vatican on 18 August, walking in the gardens at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome, where he stayed after his retirement while his new house was being refurbished. Benedict did not risk running into Francis, who has preferred to stay at his desk at the Vatican during the summer.

_________________

To me, the money quote in all of this:   "the ex-pontiff does not comment, does not reveal secrets".

This we know.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

20 August 2013

The Stone




Well, here was this stone. There were stones more in plenty, but here was one to begin with. Isak is looking ahead, to the time when he will need to build a little house here, a little home for himself and Inger, and as well to get to work a bit on the site, and clear it, while Sivert is down at Storborg. Otherwise the boy would be asking questions, and that was not to Isak's mind. The day must come, of course, when Sivert would need all there was of the place for himself—the old folks would be wanting a house apart. Ay, there was never an end of building at Sellanraa; that fodder loft above the cowshed was not done yet, though the beams and planks for it were there all ready.

Well, then, here was this stone. Nothing so big to look at above ground, but not to be moved at a touch for all that; it must be a heavy fellow. Isak dug round about it, and tried his crowbar, but it would not move. He dug again and tried once more, but no. Back to the house for a spade then, and clear it would be if he had to blast it, after all. The boring would make such a noise, and call up every one on the place. He dug. Off again to fetch a levering pole and tried that—no. He dug again. Isak was beginning to be annoyed with this stone; he frowned, and looked at the thing, as if he had just come along to make a general inspection of the stones in that neighbourhood, and found this one particularly stupid. He criticized it; ay, it was a round-faced, idiotic stone, no getting hold of it any way—he was almost inclined to say it was deformed. Blasting? The thing wasn't worth a charge of powder. And was he to give it up, was he to consider the possibility of being beaten by a stone?

He dug. Hard work, that it was, but as to giving up … At last he got the nose of his lever down and tried it; the stone did not move. Technically speaking, there was nothing wrong with his method, but it did not work. What was the matter, then? He had got out stones before in his life. Was he getting old?

But the stone did not move.

No help for it; he must dig again.[...]

But then it is that Inger speaks up, a little timidly, again; seeing, no doubt, what is troubling him: "What if we both hang on the stick there?" And the thing she calls a stick is the lever, nothing else.

"No!" cries Isak furiously. But after a moment's thought he says: "Well, well, since you're here—though you might as well have gone home. Let's try."

And they get the stone up on edge. Ay, they manage that. And "Puh!" says Isak.

But now comes a revelation, a strange thing to see. The underside of the stone is flat, mightily broad, finely cut, smooth and even as a floor. The stone is but the half of a stone, the other half is somewhere close by, no doubt. Isak knows well enough that two halves of the same stone may lie in different places; the frost, no doubt, that in course of time had shifted them apart. But he is all wonder and delight at the find; 'tis a useful stone of the best, a door-slab. A round sum of money would not have filled this fieldworker's mind with such content. "A fine door-slab," says he proudly.

Excerpt From: Hamsun, Knut. “Growth of the Soil".



"I have a suspicion that you are all mad … but God forbid that madness should in any way interrupt friendship."



Let us remain together a little, we who have loved each other so sadly, and have fought so long. I seem to remember only centuries of heroic war, in which you were always heroes — epic on epic, iliad on iliad, and you always brothers in arms. Whether it was but recently (for time is nothing), or at the beginning of the world, I sent you out to war. I sat in the darkness, where there is not any created thing, and to you I was only a voice commanding valour and an unnatural virtue. You heard the voice in the dark, and you never heard it again. The sun in heaven denied it, the earth and sky denied it, all human wisdom denied it. And when I met you in the daylight I denied it myself.

Both this quote and the title of this post come from the great G.K. Chesterton novel, The Man Who Was Thursday.  I love this book, as you may know already, and one of my favorite quotes is permanently affixed at the bottom of this blog, summing up my feelings about the Traditional Mass.  

The two excerpts above I use as a thematic introduction to two different articles that were recently posted on two different blogs, covering the fractures on the Catholic right.  Both are excellent reads.  The first is thoughtful and conciliatory analysis of things-- the second one is a bit more strident, but I ask you to read it anyway, as it is a thought-provoker for traditionals and conservatives alike.  The opinions of these two gentlemen are their own.  We can all draw our own conclusions:

Focusing on Springtime, by Peter Miller


Although verbal skirmishes among Catholics are nothing new, the modern ubiquity of internet communications seems to have accelerated these battles to a fever pitch. Recently, combating the “rad trads” has become a popular front in this ongoing war of words, serving to provide (to me at least) a certain degree of short-term nostalgia. It was a mere dozen years (and almost as many children) ago that similar debates distributed on actual newsprint helped facilitate my willingness to honestly consider for the first time what I had previously dismissed as “traditionalist” sophistries. The results would lead to my abandoning previous prejudices toward these Catholics, and starting a website with a primary objective of helping present and defend those same ideas I had previously discounted. Such lofty goals led to my typing numerous rambling, awkwardly-worded columns (consider yourself forewarned) for which the most obvious wages have been years of anonymous electronically-delivered scorn that seem destined to continue in perpetuity.

The labels may have changed, but the substance of the attacks remains the same. I used to be an “integrist” and “schismatic” but have since graduated to the ranks of “rad trad” and “Pelagian”. At one time I would have eagerly jumped into the fray to offer a defense and take some swings of my own, but these days it’s hard to muster the energy toward such a campaign for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the current ecclesial landscape is much different today than it was twelve years ago, with many of the more contentious points of debate cast in a new context by what has transpired in the Church. But more importantly, it’s become harder for me to see these debates as holding significant importance for the future of the Church, as they are likely to cause more harm than benefit.




Traditionalists were attacked when we decried the abdication of the Throne of St. Peter. Nothing good has ever come from the abdication of the Papacy, even when a saint did it. When traditionalists in both Europe and America pointed this out, as well as the novelty given as Benedict’s reason for doing so, traditionalists were attacked as being uncharitable and disobedient by Vatican II Catholics who style themselves as “conservatives”.

These same Catholics pointed out over and over again how precious and lovely the abdication of the Throne was—how it showed the humility and love of a pope too frail and too old to govern the Church in our times. Never mind that the papacy is practically an historical manual on how frail and old men have governed the Church through the ages, even during times lacking the medical sciences our modern world possesses. For these "conservatives", the power of the Holy Ghost is not adequate, apparently, to sustain a man as pope through frailty and old age, at least not in our modern age.




Great Lecture Series for Youths at Priory

 
A great idea, led by two solidly orthodox priests:


SOMETHING SOLID
“The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” G.K. Chesterton

A Lecture Series for the
Unapologetic and Unafraid

Featuring: Fr. Augustine Wetta OSB;
Chaplain: St. Louis Priory School
Fr. Fadi Auro, Associate Pastor;
Ascension Catholic Church

Sept 4: Is What’s True for Me, True for You?
Why Bother with Apologetics?

Oct. 2: God is Dead. Is it Reasonable to
Believe That God Exists?

Nov. 6: Christ: Lord, Lunatic, or Liar?

Dec. 4: Why Listen to Some Old Guys in Rome?

When: First Wednesday of Each Month
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: The Switzer House
St. Louis Priory School
Take the southernmost entrance into Priory.
Who: Grades 7 -12
Why: Because your soul depends on it!

Questions: Cindy Hofstetter (hofstetter8241@att.net)
Stacey White (bcajwhite@msn.com)

19 August 2013

"But what about the children?"




“After all, what is the good of all these convictions? Unmarried mothers have suffered enough beforehand, and been brought so low in every human regard by the brutal and callous attitude of the world—the punishment ought to suffice."

Geissler rose, and said at last: "No doubt. But what about the children?"

"True," said the advocate, "it's a sad business about the children. Still, all things considered, perhaps it's just as well. Illegitimate children have a hard time, and turn out badly as often as not."

Geissler felt perhaps some touch of malice at the portly complacency of the man of law; he said:

"Erasmus was born out of wedlock.”

“Erasmus …?"

"Erasmus of Rotterdam."

"H'm."

"And Leonardo the same."

"Leonardo da Vinci? Really? Well, of course, there are exceptions, otherwise there would be no rule. But on the whole…."

"We pass protective measures for beast and bird," said Geissler; "seems rather strange, doesn't it, not to trouble about our own young?"

The advocate for the Crown reached out slowly and with dignity after some papers on the table, as a hint that he had not time to continue the discussion. "Yes…." said he absently. "Yes, yes, no doubt…."

Geissler expressed his thanks for a most instructive conversation, and took his leave.”

Excerpt From: Hamsun, Knut. “Growth of the Soil.”


Back to Homeschool




I'm kinda worried 'bout the boy.

18 August 2013

Hey! Get up! Grab the family!




Summer at the Oratory begins after 10 am Mass and goes all day.

Why are you still reading this?


16 August 2013

Chartreusings




I am thankful for all of the blessings God has given me.

Principally, the Faith and my family. More than any sinner deserves.

And, a Reader X sighting at Mass last night. Whoa.

I Don't Often Recommend a Book Halfway through, but...






Inger grew despondent at last, the wilds oppressed her, she turned religious. How could she help it? No one can help it in the wilds; life there is not all earthly toil and worldliness; there is piety and the fear of death and rich superstition. Inger, maybe, felt that she had more reason than others to fear the judgment of Heaven, and it would not pass her by; she knew how God walked about in the evening time looking out over all His wilderness with fabulous eyes; ay, He would find her. There was not so much in her daily life wherein she could improve; true, she might bury her gold ring deep in the bottom of a clothes chest, and she could write to Eleseus and tell him to be converted too; after that, there was nothing more she could find beyond doing her work well and not sparing herself. Ay, one thing more; she could dress in humble things, only fastening a blue ribbon at her neck of Sundays. False, unnecessary poverty—but it was the expression of a kind of philosophy, self-humiliation, stoicism. The blue ribbon was not new; it had been cut from a cap little Leopoldine had grown out of; it was faded here and there, and, to tell the truth, a little dirty—Inger wore it now as a piece of modest finery on holy days. Ay, it may be that she went beyond reason, feigning to be poor, striving falsely to imitate the wretched who live in hovels; but even so—would her desert have been greater if that sorry finery had been her best? Leave her in peace; she has a right to peace!

Excerpt From: Knut Hamsun, Growth of the Soil.

I'm in the middle of this book and it is just fantastic.


So That's How They Do It





15 August 2013

Meatless Friday, Assumption Edition




This cool post contains 50 so-called "life hacks"-- simple things that might make life in the vale of tears a little easier.



Signum magnum apparuit in caelo: the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary




In the Apocalypse, chapter 11, St. John describes a vision of the Ark of the Covenant in Heaven-- the container of the words of the Old Covenant, the tablets upon which were written the Ten Commandments. Immediately upon this, beginning chapter 12, he sees this:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

This vision of the woman has been seen by Christians since earliest times to refer to Mary --"The Woman" (Gen. 3:15)-- the Mother of God, the Ark of the New Testament, the container of the Word of the New Covenant. St. John sees her in Heaven, immediately succeeding the vision of the Ark of the Old Covenant.

Recall that the chapter notations in scripture are a later addition to these texts. St. John's vision of the two arks are immediately succeeding.

Shouldn't the Ark of the New Covenant be honored more than was the Old?

Mary is our sign of hope, our great sign (signum magnum) that in the travails of persecution that Our Lord will never abandon us, that Heaven will triumph over evil. We need only persevere, and who better to help us than Our Lady?

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui gloriosae Virginis Matris Mariae corpus et animam, ut dignum Filii tui habitaculum effici mereretur, Spiritu Sancto cooperante, praeparasti, da, ut cuius commemoratione laetamur; eius pia intercessione, ab instantibus malis et a morte perpetua liberemur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.


_________________

Remember that today is a Holy Day of Obligation. Remaining Masses at St. Francis de Sales Oratory:

Low Mass at 12:15pm
High Mass at 6:30pm

14 August 2013

Antiochus, Precursor of the Antichrist

A few passages from the Maccabees will show you what he was. 


St. Paul in the text speaks of an apostasy, and of Antichrist as following upon it; thus is the future typified in the Jewish history. "In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them, we have had much sorrow. So this device pleased them well. 

Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen; whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the custom of the heathen; and made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief." 

After this introduction the Enemy of truth appears. "After that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again, . . . and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, and entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light and all the vessels thereof, and the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials, and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off. 

And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly." After this, he set fire to Jerusalem, "and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side. . . . Then built they the city of David with a great and strong wall, . . . and they put therein a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves therein." Next, "King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, and every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath." 

After this he forced these impieties upon the Israelites. All were to be put to death who would not "profane the sabbath and festival days, and pollute the sanctuary and holy people: and set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh and unclean beasts," and "leave their children uncircumcised." At length he set up an idol, or in the words of the history, "the Abomination of Desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side. . . . And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire."

It is added, "Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing, wherefore they chose rather to die . . . and there was very great wrath upon Israel." Here we have presented to us some of the lineaments of  Antichrist, who will be such, and worse than such, as Antiochus.


[...]

What I have said upon this subject may be summed up as follows:-that the coming of Christ will be immediately preceded by a very awful and unparalleled outbreak of evil, called in the text an apostasy, a falling away, in the midst of which a certain terrible man of sin and child of perdition, the special and singular enemy of Christ, or Antichrist, will appear; that this will be when revolutions prevail, and the present framework of Society breaks to pieces; that at present the Spirit which he will embody and represent, is kept under by "the powers that be," but that on their dissolution, he will rise out of the bosom of them, and knit them together again in his own evil way, under his own rule, to the exclusion of the Church.  

It would be out of place to say more than this at present. 

--Blessed John Henry Newman, First Sermon on Antichrist