Saint Anthony of Padua religion faith holy illustration. St. Anthony. Patron Saint of Lost Items. With Child Jesus

What follows for the next several weeks are a series of meditations on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, since this is His month. They are taken from Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt, S.J., The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, (1904, Benziger Bros.), a lengthy book of meditations. These visits with the Sacred Heart are remarkable for the love they inculcate and the deeper understanding of Christ’s love for us which they offer the reader. These selections have been chosen to reflect the times in which we find ourselves, with the hope that they will help the reader better appreciate the value of suffering in the light of Our Lord’s own sufferings, and the joy sharing in these sufferings should bring to us, since they unite us with Christ on the Cross.

Wishing all a peaceful and spiritually productive summer!




Awe and silence when Truth reigns at the  Final Judgment

Awe and silence when Truth reigns at the Final Judgment

Prayer Society Intention for the Month of June, Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the holy souls in Purgatory.” (Raccolta) 

As Henry Cardinal Manning has explained in his Temporal Power of the Vicar of Christ: “Antichrist and the antichristian movement has these marks: first, schism from the Church of God; second, denial of its Divine and infallible voice;and thirdly, denial of the Incarnation.” On pgs. 85-86, Manning describes schism as “revolt from authority… the one and universal Church.” Denial of infallibility he characterizes as “the rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost… This necessarily involves the heretical principle of human opinion as opposed to Divine faith; of the private spirit as opposed to the infallible voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church of God” (p. 166). As for denial of the Incarnation, Manning notes on page 161: “The dethronement of the Vicar of Christ is the dethronement of the hierarchy of the universal Church and the public rejection of the Presence and Reign of Jesus…” And on page 91: “If heresy in the individual dissolves the unity of the Incarnation, heresy in the nation dissolves the unity of the Church, which is built on the Incarnation.”

This should be something quite obvious to the average Catholic as a logical consequence of Manning’s first two points, but unfortunately it is not. For “rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost” is a denial of the necessary presence of the Third person of the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity is one and undivided; deny one of its members and you deny all. Christ’s Vicars speak in His name; they are His living voice on earth. Ignore and demean that voice and every bit of the light of sanctifying grace disappears. There are now so many ways the Incarnation is being denied on earth it is difficult to evaluate them all. But as we have been examining in our last several blogs, the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae was one of the major contributors to this denial, falsifying the meaning of Christ’s very words in instituting the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass on Catholic altars. For what it actually represented was the ability of man to dictate to God the meaning and wording of the Divine establishment of the Eucharist, recognizing only His humanity and changeable human nature, NOT HIS DIVINITY, just as they would later change all the other Sacraments.

All this, of course, emanated from Protestantism and its concept of Christ as a loving, merciful God — our friend, our brother — with no reference to the suffering Christ, the righteous judge, the exactor of Divine vengeance. True Catholics watch in sorrow when they see Protestants and Novus Ordo adherents alike swaying and dancing in scandalous attire to guitar-accompanied “Christian” and secular music, after the manner of pagans, and calling it “worship”; speaking in tongues and effecting “healings” at charismatic/ holy roller services and welcoming non-Catholics into what is commonly believed to be “Catholic” churches, in the spirit of ecumenism. That God would be pleased with the scurrilous amusements of man is a sacrilege and a travesty, a denial both of his Divinity and His Kingship. Traditionalism denies His divinity as well, for those attending the services of Traditionalist pseudo-clergy are just as pagan, offering worship to bread idols never consecrated by those who are not valid successors of the apostles.

When silence falls

One shudders to think what will happen to these non-believers on the day Christ comes as King to judge us all. For those who have not been converted by the many chastisements preceding Christ’s coming I envision, on beholding Him in all His Divine majesty, an all-pervading and electrified silence, electrified, that is, by the first inkling of fear inspired by this most awesome and Almighty Lord God of Hosts. For He will be nothing as they imagined. There will be no kindly smile on His anguished face, no open arms to embrace those who believe they can continue sinning without ever amending their lives and doing penance, because His blood covers them all. For standing there behind Him and at His side will be all the Saints they refused to believe in, including His Blessed Mother, who they never cease to defile, and her retinue of angels, who many dismiss as figments of the imagination. They will look frantically to find any among that faithful band appearing with Him who they hailed as ministers, prophets and “saints” among their ranks on this earth and will recognize no one. And then will confusion and dread overtake them, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth begin.

Listen to what St. Alphonsus de Liguori tells us about Judgment Day:

“The Redeemer has appointed a day of general judgment  which is called in the Scriptures ‘the day of the Lord,’ on which Jesus Christ will make known the greatness of His Majesty. Hence that day is called not a day of mercy and pardon but ‘a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery.’ Yes, for then the Lord will come to repair the honor which sinners sought to take from Him on this earth. Let us examine how the judgment of that great day will take place…The just will stand on the right and the wicked will be driven to the left. How great would be the pain that you would feel at being driven away from the party of pleasure or at being expelled from the Church! But how much greater will be the pain of those who are banished from the society of the saints. What, think you, says the author of The Imperfect Work, must be the confusion of the wicked one after being separated from the just? They will be abandoned. This confusion alone would, according to Saint John Chrysostom, be sufficient to constitute a hell for the reprobate. The son will be separated from the father the husband from the wife and the master from the servant. One shall be taken and one shall be left as in Holy Scripture.

“’Tell me my brother, what place do you think will fall to you? Would you wish to be found at the right hand? If you do, abandon the life which leads to the left.’ The witnesses against the reprobate will first be the devils, who according to Saint Augustine will say: ‘Most just God declare, him to be mine who was unwilling to be yours.’ Secondly, they will be their own consciences, ‘Their own conscience bearing witness to them.’ The very walls of the house in which they have offended God with their testimony will cry for vengeance against them. ‘The stone shall cry out of the wall.’ Finally, the Judge himself, who has been present at all the insults offered to Him, will give evidence against the Sinner: ‘Depart from Me you cursed into everlasting fire’” (Preparation for Death).

But no one believes this could happen to them, that the end is so very near. And even those who admit it cannot be far off, are not worried they will be counted among the reprobate. And yet it seems that this event could be at our very doors.

Nearness of the Judgment

We read From Fr. E. Sylvester Berry’s The Apocalypse of St. John, (1921), Ch. 20:

“St. John now beholds our Lord seated upon His throne to judge the living and the dead. Heaven and earth fleeing before His face expresses the terror that shall seize upon the wicked: ‘Men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved.’ Our Lord’s coming with power and majesty, and the signs that precede it were not revealed to St. John, probably because they had been sufficiently announced by Christ Himself in the Gospels. ‘Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.’ In like manner at the coming of Christ the dead arise and come to judgment. The books are now opened and all are judged according to their works which are written either in the book of life or in the books of the dead.

“The books of the dead (wicked) are many while there is but one book of life because ‘many are called, but few are chosen.’ The sea represents the nations opposed to the Church in the last days. Its dead are the people of those nations whom Christ shall find living at His coming. They are dead in sin and their works are written in the books of the dead. Death and hell must give up their dead, the wicked who die before the second coming of Christ. Their souls, condemned to hell, are now united to their risen bodies to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Thus do death and hell give up their dead.

“The order of events immediately preceding the last judgment can be fairly well established from various passages of Scriptures. The revolt of Gog and Magog will be punished by a deluge of fire from heaven which will probably occasion the conversion of great numbers. At some time after this the signs foreboding the coming of Christ will strike terror into all hearts, and the day of judgment will be near at hand; ‘When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand’; ‘But of the day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.’ St. Paul says that ‘The day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night;’ men will be found in the midst of their occupations as happened at the deluge of the days of Noe.

At length there ‘shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all tribes of earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with much power and majesty. And He shall send His angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven, from the farthest parts of the heaven to the utmost bounds of them.’ At the sound of the trumpet the dead shall arise. The just found living upon earth in that day and the just who arise from the dead shall be caught up into the air to meet Christ and be united with Him forever. ‘The dead who are with Christ shall arise first. Then we who are alive, who are left shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ into the air and so shall we be always with the Lord.’

“Shall those found living at the second coming of Christ undergo death before the judgment? The Church has decided nothing in the matter, but Sacred Scripture seems to indicate that they will not. St. Paul says: ‘We who are alive shall be taken up;’ Again he says: ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet . . . the dead shall arise again incorruptible; and we shall be changed.’ He evidently makes a distinction between those who are dead and those who remain alive at the coming of Christ. In the preceding verse the Apostle writes: ‘We shall all indeed rise again; but we shall not all be changed.’ This indicates that all must undergo death but the Greek text reads: ‘We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.’ It must be admitted that this reading agrees better with the context than the one found in the Vulgate.

And from Fr. Charles-Marie Arminjon’s The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, (1881), said to have been read and esteemed by St. Therese of Lisieux:

“As for the manner of this Second Coming, it will be like the first: it will be the same Christ and the same man and His features and appearance will be the same as during His mortal life. It will be enough for those who lived and spoke with Him to set eyes on His person in order to recognize Him. However this second manifestation will not come in weakness and humiliation but in majesty and glory. St. Matthew’s gospel says: ‘I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ In other words, Jesus Christ will appear surrounded by the pomp and apparel of divine kingship. The glorified elect and the multitude of angels will form a resplendent court around His throne such as no mind could portray.  Those who fought with the greatest constancy, who have followed Him the most closely in the arena of his sufferings, will be the nearest to his person.

“’Then shall the just stand with great constancy,’ says the book of Wisdom, ‘against those that have afflicted them and taken away their labours.’ We can imagine the regrets and despair of the damned by virtue of the picture which the same inspired author draws of them.

  • “These seeing it shall be troubled with terrible fear and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation.
  • “Saying within themselves, repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit. These are they whom we had some time in derision and for a parable of reproach.
  • “We fools esteemed their life’s madness and their end without honor.
  • “Behold how they are numbered among the children of God and their lot is among the Saints. • “Therefore we have erred from the way of truth and the light of justice hath not shined unto us and the sun of understanding hath not risen upon us.

“The apostles, martyrs, doctors and thousands of the just who have fought for the honor of God and for the interests of the faith will unite with their leader in proclaiming the truth of His sentences and the equity of His judgments. This judgment is rightly called universal because it will be exercised over all members of the human race, because it will cover every crime every misdemeanor and because it will be definitive and irrevocable.

All will be revealed

“Only then will human history begin. In the clarity of the light of God all the crimes, public and secret, which have been committed in every latitude and in every age will be seen clearly and in detail. The whole life of each human being will be laid bare. No circumstance will be omitted, no action, word or desire will remain unknown. We shall be reminded of the different periods we have gone through; the lustful man will have his disorderly living and libertine speeches set out before him the, ambitious man his devious, Machiavellian ways. The judgment will unravel and bring out all the strands and the duplicity of those intrigues so cleverly hatched. It will set out in their true light all those base repudiations of principles those Craven acts of complicity which men invested with public authority have sought to justify, whether by invoking the specious pretext of reasons of state or by covering them up with the mask of piety or disinterestedness.

“The Lord, says St. Bernard, will reveal all those abuses which people conceal from themselves; all those unknown dissipations, those planned crimes where the only thing lacking was the actual commission. Those pretended virtues and those forgotten secret sins blotted out from the memory will appear suddenly like enemies starting out from an ambush. Without doubt, there are men so hardened in evil that the thought of this terrible manifestation has little effect upon them. Being familiar with crime, they treat it as a subject of amusement and boasting. And without they fondly imagine that they will assume some effrontery at the Judge, the same effrontery at the judgment and by their cynical, arrogant attitude defy the majesty of God and the conscience of the human race.

“Vain hope! Sin will no longer be viewed from the opinion of carnal man, ready to excuse the most violent outbursts because they do not harm any neighbor, either in his goods or in his life. The foulness and disorder of sin will be revealed in the ineffable clarity of the light of God. Sin, says Saint Thomas, will be judged as God Himself judges it.”

And finally this, written by Rev. Herman Bernard Kramer, The Book of Destiny, 1956, Ch. 20:

“After the defeat of Gog and his armies, Satan is cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, hell proper, into which Antichrist and his prophet were cast alive with body and soul. They may not appear at the Last Judgment. Satan was confined to the bottomless abyss during the millennium and then released to seduce Gog and his followers, whose number is as the sands of the sea. Thereby he fills up his measure of iniquity and merits to be sunk into the deepest chasm of the pool of fire. The final judgment is pronounced and executed upon him as on his two principal agents and with them he is locked up in the burning pool. Here we must understand that this is how Antichrist and the False Prophet re cast ALIVE into this pool: They are the first to be resurrected at the Final Judgment and then thrown into Hell, for “ALL shall rise”…

“This verse (10) suggests another epoch of peace between the destruction of Gog and the end of the world. Perhaps the signs of the approaching end foretold by our Lord will then gradually appear. There is no “day and night” in eternity after the Last Judgment. According to the Greek text, the “day and night” seems not to be identified with the “forever and ever” of eternity. Hence if Satan is tormented together with the Beast and False Prophet day and night, it must be while day and night still continue on earth. Those who shall have forgotten God’s judgments upon Antichrist or view them as doubtful legends and have drifted into indifference at the end of the THOUSAND YEARS shall in the destruction of Gog come face to face with the truth of the Church’s teachings and a manifest proof of the everlasting punishments on the wicked. As in the Old Testament, so at all times men discount and underestimate in the course of ages the value of God’s revelations and treat the Gospel today as fairy tales, deny the reality of the miracles of Christ and even doubt His existence. Many will estimate the history of Antichrist and the miraculous manifestation of Christ’s power in the Church and particularly in the Holy Eucharist as far distant fables and will imagine in their overweening pride that men were deceived in those days of ignorance.

“Verse 10 refutes with striking clearness all explanations that the Beast and the False Prophet are institutions or organizations, for they are not only cast into the same pool of fire with Satan, whose personal existence no one tries to torture into an institution but are also “tormented” together with him. No institution, organization, kingdom or empire is “tormented” in hell. But even brilliant minds after taking an impossible view will try to hold on to it. Verses 11-end: This verse follows the foregoing without any connecting particle and without any introduction to the succeeding vision. The One sitting upon the Great White Throne before whose face heaven and earth flee away is Christ coming in the clouds to judge the world. He comes for the Last Judgment. No place is found for heaven and earth anymore. The world and all its glory shall pass away, and the Church shall exist on earth no longer.

A time for penance

Between this verse and the foregoing a period of time is obviously passed over, during which the wicked may repent and do penance. Verse eleven following the final judgment upon Satan without the insertion of a connecting word proves noth­ing about the proximity of the judgment to his condemnation.

“The ‘seven years’ of Ezechiel may be and probably are a symbolic number. Ezechiel indicates (39: 22-29) some lapse of time from Gog to the end of the world and likewise a speedy arrival of the end after the last war of Gog (38: 8). The prophets commonly write new prophecies verse after verse without any conjunctions and without any indication of long spaces of time between the verses. In one verse they promise the end of the Babylonian Captivity and in the next the glories of Christ’s reign, as if the coming of Christ were simultaneous with the re­turn from Captivity. And they connect His Coming immediately with the glorious future days in terms of the millennium, al­though another couple of thousand years must pass away added to the five hundred from the end of the Captivity to His Coming.

“Christ steadfastly refused to reveal the nearness of the end of the world, although the apostles evinced the keenest desire to know this. He said to them that the Father had kept this knowledge in His control (Mt. 24: 36; Mach.13: 32). The time for the career of Antichrist shall be known when the signs appear and also that of the last enemy of the Church, Gog; there is nothing in the Apocalypse, however, to indicate the nearness or remoteness of the end of the world after these other prophecies have been past history. The wisdom of God withholds this knowledge from the human race.”

Battle of Armageddon 

If we take Apoc. Ch. 16 literally, it would seem that it coincides with the beginning of a third world war, and the advent of a possible pole shift, and/or meteor strike — accompanied by the destruction of Babylon described at length in chapters 17 and 18-19. It also segues smoothly into  Ch. 20, which aligns this battle with the last persecution of the Church — the battle of the forces of good with Gog and Magog. Chapter 20 of Apocalypse indicates Satan himself will descend on the “camp of the saints” and inspire what Rev. Leo Haydock describes as “the last persecution of Antichrist” by Gog and Magog, which some believe is Russia and its leader in league with China and other nations. If we live in the time after Antichrist described by St. Thomas Aquinas, which I believe that we do, Satan and his hordes will come quickly and the battle of Armageddon will be waged as described in Chap. 16 of Apocalypse.

The article here discusses the battle of Armageddon that seems to be instigated by those of the Orient — China, Russia, et al; “Gog and Magog” (Apoc. 20:7; Ezech. 38: 2-3) and coincides with the fall of Babylon. As Rev. P. Huchede explains in his book History of Antichrist (1884), Gog and Magog can be identified with the Scythians, who the Encyclopedia Brittanica identifies as “…members of a nomadic people, originally of Iranian stock, known from as early as the 9th century B.C., who migrated westward from Central Asia to southern Russia and Ukraine in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.” Clearly, this is now a distinct possibility. Some speculate on the web that these forces shall overcome us and enslave us, but if this is true, it may not be true everywhere or for all. We must remember what Fr. Hunolt says in his sermons, recently quoted here, that on the contrary: ““This shall be done at the end of the world, when all creatures are to be set at liberty and released from slavery, and then like a mighty army they will all rush in a body against the wicked to put them to shame, as we read in the Book of Wisdom…”

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

However brief it may be, there will be time to do penance before the Final Judgment as Fr. Hunolt agrees; won for mankind, I believe, by Christ’s Blessed Mother. As we noted in our last blog, how many have defamed and blasphemed Our Lady when they so desperately need her intercession.  Will there not be a great silence among these blasphemers, when they stare with incredulity as Our Lady comes to crush the head of Satan? Is it not possible that the Miracle of the Sun was a portent of a future intervention on mankind’s behalf by Our Blessed Mother, to save her children from evil men who not only try to obliterate all belief in her Divine Son, but obscure the sun itself, created by God the Father, and rob us of its light that we may all the more quickly perish? Yes, that is when the great silence will fall, when they realize that all they have been taught was a lie, and they have no way to defend themselves before the throne of God.

Such a great mercy, sadly, will not be taken advantage of by all. That the Final Judgment is imminent is not a certainty, although it is definitely a serious probability. For as we have seen over the ages, many things anticipated in Apocalypse have either missed the mark or have been taken in the wrong direction entirely. We can see things more clearly now as the time grows nearer. But it is likely that we will never know, until the battle of Armageddon commences and Antichrist’s diabolical system is destroyed, exactly what God has planned for us. And this, as Rev. Kramer states above, is his express will. That is why Christ tells us He comes as a thief, for each of us when we end our earthly exile; and for all of us, when the days of this weary world are done.