It is Near, Even at the Gates
Every year on the last Sunday after Pentecost we are made to listen, reluctantly perhaps, to these terrible words of our blessed Lord, warning us about the end times. And every year, we worry and wonder to ourselves how close these end times are. Far be it from me to predict to you when the world will end, this knowledge is privy only to our Father in heaven, and we are meant to know neither the day nor the hour. But there are signs. Signs described by our Lord himself.
The first sign our Lord gives us that the end of the world is nigh, is “the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the holy place.” What holy place is the prophet Daniel speaking of? What is the holiest place on earth? Back in Daniel’s day, it was the holy Temple of Jerusalem, containing the Holy of Holies. Today, our Holy of Holies is wherever you can still find the real presence of Christ the Son of God. Here, during Mass, we stand in the presence of God himself, and that is something that should fill us with awe. In the past, we had the privilege of having the constant real presence in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. Even today, many traditional Catholic churches are still able to maintain this incredible privilege—and these tabernacles are our Holy of Holies.
But what happened to most of these tabernacles after Vatican II? They were removed from the High Altar of our churches, altars that were stripped bare, not just of statues, beautiful carvings and art work, but of the Holy of Holies itself. And if that weren’t enough, they took away our Mass. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was altered so substantially that it was no longer the continuation of Christ’s Sacrifice of Calvary. Like the tabernacles, any word relating to “sacrifice” was removed from Paul VI’s new mass. The Holy Altar of Sacrifice was ripped out of our churches, and in the place of our Holy of Holies, they installed a table. Upon this table, all manner of sacrilegious community meals have taken the place of Christ on Calvary. God is no longer the focus of our prayer, but our human fellowship has taken his place. God has been replaced by Man in our Holy of Holies, and surely this is the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet!
We saw this happen after Vatican II. And what did we do about it? Maybe not right away, but at some point all of you here today made the decision to do exactly what Christ told us to do: flee! “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation… standing in the holy place…then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” We fled from the abomination of desolation. We fled from the new mass and all the sacrileges perpetrated by the post-conciliar church. We fled into the wilderness, into the mountains, anywhere that we could find the true apostolic Mass. And here we are this very morning because we listened to our Lord’s call, “Seek, and ye shall find.”
But now what? What comes next? The second great sign foreshadowing the end of time is due to follow upon the first. “For there shall arise,” says our Lord, “false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive even the very elect.” Are these men already among us? Let’s hear what St. Alphonsus Liguori had to say about it back in 1700s: “The devil,” he says, “has always managed to get rid of the Mass by means of the heretics, making them the precursors of the Antichrist, who, above all else will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing, as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar, precisely as Daniel had predicted.”
Does this sound familiar? Can we think of any heretics, precursors of the Antichrist, who are trying to abolish the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Let’s be quite clear: St. Alphonsus is predicting that the end times will be introduced by “false Christs”. Who are these false Christs if not the false “Vicars of Christ” that have imposed their tyrannical authority over the Church since Vatican II. Let them be named by the names they gave themselves: John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Francis. These are the men who sought to get rid of the Mass, heretics one and all, and precursors of the Antichrist. Even Benedict XVI referred to the true Mass as the “extraordinary form of the Mass,” and the new mass as the norm. These men are surely the fulfillment of the prophecy made by our blessed Lady at La Salette, that “Rome will become the seat of the Antichrist.” They will succeed, in fact they almost have completely succeeded already, in abolishing the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And why? St. Alphonsus tells us, “as a punishment for the sins of men.” Again, it was our Lady who was sent by God to warn us that these times were almost upon us. In 1917, our Lady of Fatima urgently called for the conversion of sinners, warning repeatedly that should her request not be heeded and men not convert, the world would suffer a great chastisement, including the annihilation of nations. Has the world improved since 1917? Has the Church followed our Lady’s demands that the Pope publish the Third Secret of Fatima and consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart? Have we been saying our Rosary enough?
Let me quote from John Horvat, head of a traditionalist group called the TFP. He was speaking on the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima, and nothing of what he says can be denied by anyone who has eyes with which to see: “Looking at the state of the world one hundred years later,” he says, “no one can affirm that the world has improved. The weakening of Faith is evident everywhere. The Church is in a shattered state of crisis. Society is coming apart because of abortion, the destruction of marriage and the collapse of morals. The world is full of social and political crises and military threats ready to explode at any moment. It is obvious that men have not converted. There is no doubt that our Lady’s requests have not been heeded. And given the present state of world affairs, it is unlikely that men will do this in the near future.”
The world is ripe, in other words, for the third great sign, which is the coming of the Antichrist. And I warn you now, be prepared for his coming. But don’t expect some nasty-looking, immoral tyrant whom we will easily recognize as the epitome of evil. No, for as our Lord says, this Antichrist “shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Who among us will be immune to the attraction of this new “savior of mankind”, who will save us all, not from Satan’s power, certainly, but from the satanically manufactured crises that threaten our planet and all of us in it. In other words, he’ll look very good, he’ll look like he’s saving us from danger, and we’ll be tempted to follow him. In doing so we will find an far greater danger, not for our physical well-being perhaps, but for our very souls. We’re going to have to be very, very careful to use our God-given gifts of discernment to identify the true nature of this false saviour, this Anti-Christ.
It’s the end of the Church’s year this week. It’s the time for turning our attention to these inconvenient and unpleasant truths in today’s Gospel. Never have the signs been more certain than they are today that we are in the times of the fig tree. The abomination of desolation is being performed even now in the so-called Catholic church down the road. Their pope is hell-bent on ridding the world of that “old triumphalistic and outdated” Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Antichrist, surely cannot be far away. Look to the fig tree, says our Lord. “When the branch of the fig tree is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”