Analysis of my blog stats shows that my most visited post, most linked to post, and the post with the most comments, is Is Pope Francis an imposter? (My answer is no.)
That post, which debunked the now thoroughly discredited ‘Maria Divine Mercy’ hoax, was published in 2013. Three years later, it still attracts new visitors to this blog each week.
It is symptomatic, I think, of widespread millennial fever. In recent weeks, I have received advice from many quarters alerting me to grave prognostications for September 2015. Here’s a few things to watch out for:
- A European crisis which starts in the Middle East.
- A global financial crisis which starts in China.
- A global military crisis which starts in North Korea.
- A major earthquake which devastates the United States.
- A deadly comet which devastates the world.
The sources of these prophecies are myriad. Some prophets cite ancient Hebrew calendars; some interpret the dubious verses of Nostradamus; others quote the side research of Sir Isaac Newton of all people; others again claim to have received warning from our Lady.
The sources may be myriad, but still these prophecies and their variants share a lot in common. They’re all feasible, however improbable. No one warns about a military conflict set off by New Zealand, or a financial crisis which starts in Malta. So these prophecies are also very good at alarming people, who are then motivated to pass the warning on.
But what good do they do? None of them lend themselves to preventative preparation. None of them compel prayer and conversion. They just distract and cause anxiety.
There are other prognostications which are better contemplated:
- This may be the last September in my life.
- I might die very soon – suddenly, unexpectedly.
I can’t do much to prevent that from happening either, but these ideas are much better for the spiritual life.
Maybe I should call up that estranged friend or relative, and apologise for the injustice I showed them. Or forgive them for the grievance they caused me. Maybe I should join the queue outside the confessional, and reconcile with God. Maybe I should live and love and pray like this is my last week on earth – because maybe it is!
They’re the only what ifs and prophecies I take seriously. Anything else is smoke and mirrors, often deployed by the enemy to distract us from what’s really important. We’ll all live to see our end of the world, when the hour comes for us to die.
Beautifully written Fr John, the hour of death signals the end of the world for all of us. For Catholics our hope is in the Lord who made heaven and earth. Jesus Christ is the redeemer of mankind and center of history, he is sole master of the future. We should use our time and effort in this world to order our souls through the graces God has blessed us with in Christ, the head of the Body, the Church. Engage in the conversion process, in the universal call to holiness, by living lives anchored in the sacraments, especially by going to Mass and confession regularly, and as part of our daily prayer, make a sincere act of contrition. And, last but not least, say the Rosary.
Well people keep on predicting dates when the world is going to end! But we are still here! Maybe we all go to a different planet but everything stays the same!
Well on Saturday people will be heading to the Cathedral of St. Patrick’s in Melbourne but some might be going to another Cathedral: Flemington Racecourse. free entry to a service for Bart Cummings from 10.30am, then the races from 12.25pm!
My tips Race1No1 Throwlow
Race2No7 and 1 and 2
Race3No2 Prince of Brooklyn
Race4No6 Kinglake also numbes 5 and12
Race5No14 and 3. Pressing and Guest of Honour
Race6No 11 amd six
Race7No16and 1. This race is Group One Makbye Diva
Race9No 3.5 and 15.
Also Spring racing at Casterton with three jumps races on Sunday!
Remember Each Way and Good luck for Saturday to all the people heading to St. Patrick’s Catheral in Melbourne – epecially the Guest blogger Joel Peart!
Very good argument, Don Corrigan, against paying any attention to the signs and wonders (and scary prophesies) industry. Faith shrivels up and conspiracy theories flourish. People get hooked on spiritual panic attacks and lose the ball, which is concentrating on one’s interior life and the pursuit of holiness. I wish far more priests would write on this issue – it is a terrible problem among sincere, practising Catholics.
Brilliantly written Fr John!
Matthew chapter 24 is something that comes to mind.
“Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father alone.