Recently my wife and I had dinner with a very faithful, traditional college-educated couple who were lamenting the state of things in the world, especially the recent attack on religious liberty by the Obama administration
Somewhere between the salad and entrée, one member of our dinner companions mentioned that she thought we were in the final days-as in, the END OF THE WORLD. Perhaps it’s just me but I have sensed an increasingly loud drum beat by Christians of late expressing this position. I took the opportunity to discuss a bit more about this fear of the “end days.”
Now I am no biblical scholar and have no inside knowledge of the Almighty’s plans for the final roll up of time, but I can safely say I am a skeptic of such hand-wringing. But still, the opportunity was so fortuitous that I didn’t want to miss the chance.
My first thought was quite obvious—do you really believe this is it? If, indeed, we see no way out of the current social upheaval without Our Lord himself returning, I followed by asking what again seems to be the most obvious of questions, “If we really believed this, wouldn’t we sell everything immediately?”
Well, as it (predictably) turned out, our assets were not for sale or being given away any time soon.
And speaking of the apocalypse, a word frequently used by those anticipating the end of time, I wondered if everyone really knew what the term actually meant? As you might imagine most said a synonym term might be “end of days.”
While a recent movie of that title did indeed reinforce the sense of the end of creation, in fact the term referred to an “unveiling,” as in a wedding ceremony. The true etymology of the term is more a sense of “revealing something or someone” more than the end of someone. Even in the incorrect use of the term I find little to be nervous about.
The Church began in Jerusalem, then fled into the hills around Jerusalem in 70AD as Rome came to destroy it. The early Church endured the barbarous acts of the state sponsored death-dealing. The English martyrs of the 16th century were hanged, drawn and quartered and the 20th century proved to be the most violent creator of Christian martyrs in our history. God seems none to keen to exempt his people from violence against them.
I told our dinner companions that I actually believe, in the true sense of the term, that we are experiencing an “apocalypse”; an apocalypse or unveiling of the truth of where we stand as Catholic in the midst of an increasingly secular culture.
Recent events, so onerous to faithful Catholics, have revealed the true nature of radical secularism. I, for one, appreciate the honest, direct public discourse that comes from such authentic, raw, opinion being expressed. Only then, stripped of vagaries and false tolerance can we begin to fulfill what Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict have called for in the New Evangelization—that the Good News be shared openly and directly with the whole world.