Sunday, November 14, 2010

God Knows, I Don't: And That's Okay

I've written about my take on "Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell, and Warm Fuzzies" before. (August 8, 2010) And how I have the teaching authority of "some guy with a blog." Not much, in other words.

Still, I'm a practicing Catholic: and I try to stay informed.

Our parish priest brought up an important point this Sunday. It's a simple series of statements. Here's what a pope said about the idea, a few decades back:
"...The essential mission of the priesthood is found in the Eucharist. Your identity and mine are fixed forever in the Eucharistic celebration, that action of Jesus which in turn is the fullest and most effective proclamation of his whole Gospel message: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!..."
("Address of John Paul II to a Group of Priests from the United States of America," John Paul II speeches, (May 7, 1982)
I think that bears repeating:

"Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!"

The Last Judgment, Human Nature, and Marketing

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a few words about particular judgment, when each of us gets judged on our own lives (1021-1022), and the Last Judgment. (1038-1041)

I gather that the Last Judgment will be an event that'll be impossible to miss:
"The resurrection of all the dead, 'of both the just and the unjust,'623 will precede the Last Judgment. This will be 'the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man's] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.'624 Then Christ will come "in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.'625"
(Catechism (1038)
I've mentioned the - interesting - version of Christianity that was endemic to the area I grew up in. (February 2, 2010, and lots of other times)

As my youth merged into early adulthood, I noticed a pattern. Quite a few of these Scripture/Numerology/End Times chaps had a book to sell: proving (Biblically speaking) that The End Was Nigh - four or five years after their book's publication date.

Maybe I'm being too cynical here: but that'd be a pretty good choice from a marketing point of view. Put the End Times too close to the publication date, and book sales might still be brisk when the deadline hit. Put the fireworks too far off in the future, and whipping up enthusiasm for buying the thing might be a trifle difficult.

Four or five years after going on the radio about the latest 'end-times prophecy' strikes a nice balance, in my opinion.

I'll Leave the Timing Up to God

Me? I wouldn't write one of those books. First of all, there'd be a lot of work cobbling together a dramatic comparison of some numbers in Revelation with the Washington, DC zip code and Stalin's shoe size - or whatever I decided would get folks excited enough to shell out $19.95 - or whatever thick paperback books are going for these days.

Much more to the point, I don't think my Lord would appreciate my efforts to cash in on a cultural quirk. We're told that "Only the Father knows the day and the hour" (Catechism, 1040; Matthew 24:4-27, Matthew 24:36)(and see Matthew 24 footnote 9 in the NAB)

I'm inclined to take Jesus seriously. Folks with a book to sell? Not so much.

I couldn't help but notice, though, that a Catechism reference number I used is 1040 - which is the number of IRS form 1040. With a little work I could probably work that into a diatribe about Elijah, 2 Kings 1:10, 1 Kings 18:40, Revelation 11:5 and flamethrowers. Or maybe one of the new laser weapon systems.

That's not gonna happen.

I'm quite willing to assume that God knows what He's doing, and doesn't need me second-guessing His timetable. Besides, there's that Matthew 24:36 thing: looks to me like trying to work out when my Lord is coming back is a waste of time.

That Jesus is returning, literally and unmistakably? I've got His word on that.

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.