13 May 2014

The Thirteenth of May, in the Year of Our Lord, the Two Thousand Fourteenth

On the idea of an Antichrist, no theologian (and perhaps no Churchman) has been more insistent than Cardinal Ratzinger in his many writings... Taking as his starting point The Account of the Antichrist by Vladimir Soloviev, wrote: "A phrase of Soloviev's is illuminating.  The Antichrist believes in God, but in the depths of his heart prefers himself." *  Does the Third Secret put the Church on guard against the arrival of a personage of this kind, who believes in God (and perhaps has studied theology), but "prefers himself"?**

...the only defensive weapon is the truth-- to speak the whole truth about the Third Secret.  "The truth will make you free."

-- Antonio Socci, The Fourth Secret of Fatima, pp. 166-67 (with notes from the original)

* "The second temptation of Jesus, whose exemplary significance is not easily comprehended, is intended as a sort of vision in which is condensed a particular risk that threatens man and the mission of Jesus.  What appears singular immediately is that it is the devil who cites Scripture, with the aim of pulling Jesus into his trap.  He cites Psalm 91:11 [SLC note: 90:11], where the protection that God assures His faithful is spoken of: 'For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.'  These words assume a major significance because they are pronounced in the Holy City, in a sacred place... The devil is thus a good connoisseur of Scripture.  The colloquy is configured, therefore, as a debate between two experts on the Bible.  This same theme is taken up by Vladimir S. Soloviev in his Account of the Antichrist: the University of Tubingen confers an honorary doctorate of theology on the Antichrist.  If theology becomes purely a knowledge of Scripture and of the history of the Faith in order to adhere to other choices in life, then it is no longer at the service of faith, but rather destroys it.  The debate between Christ and Satan focuses on the correct interpretation of the Bible, whose norms are not of a purely historical character.  The question is how one reads the Bible, with what understanding one approaches Christ.  And a phrase of Soloviev's is illuminating: The Antichrist believes in God, but in the depths of his heart he prefers himself."  (Joseph Ratzinger, On the Road toward Jesus Christ, San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo (Mi), 2004).

** A hypothesis of this kind is also found in the writings of Maria Valtorta, according to whom the 20th century would be the period of precursors of the Antichrist, who will manifest himself in the present day and will be an ecclesiastic.  His arrival, which will be accompanied by a great falling away from the Church, is described thus: "Then will come the pastor-idol, who will be, and will stay, wherever his masters wish."


Damaris said...

I tried to find the Raztinger book you cite in today's post, but can find nothing with this title, not even an article. Could you give me more info on the book you are citing so I can find it? Thank you

St. Corbinian's Bear said...

Without getting lost in the fever swamps of private revelation, this Bear believes: (a) the Anti-Christ, when he comes, will NOT be dressed in black with an inverted pentagram medallion, but will be an adorable figure, much, in fact, like a Bear; (b) the world does not go in for "miracles" any more, so A-C will produce the kind of marvels that will awe our age, e.g. world peace, much as in the under-appreciated novel Lord of the World; and (c) will be capable of fooling many naturally good people, and only the supernaturally illuminated will be put off by him. No one will be able to understand how anyone could possibly think ill of him, until it is too late.

Of course, in a sense, the A-C is already here. We are today, in many ways, worse than Rome. And if the Church ever gets around to trying to re-evangelize the West, it will have a handicap the early church did not: had its chance, failed.