Theology of History
The Certainty of the Reign of Mary
Fr. Charles Arminjon
Given the unprecedented crisis in the Catholic Church, today many people are speculating whether we have reached the end times. In the work The End of the Present World - highly praised by St. Therese of Lisieux in her Autobiography - Fr. Arminjon sets out the three signs Scriptures gives us to know the end times. Then he goes on to carefully analyze the first sign, the only one that is not evident. He concludes neither it or the other two signs have been fulfilled, and we must still see a time of glory for the Church in the future when the Gospel will be known and effectively practiced everywhere.
It will be the Reign of Mary, a time of peace in the world when Christ will again reign as King through Mary. Such a time was predicted by the great St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, and Our Lady herself confirmed it at Fatima when she announced the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.
What follows is the text of Fr. Arminjon.
Three signs of the end of History
The first of the events foreshadowing the end of time is the one to which the Savior refers in Matthew 24:14, when He says, "This good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a witness to all the nations. Only after that will the end come."
The second of these signs will be the appearance of the man of sin, the Antichrist (2 Thess 2:2-4).
The conditions for the second coming of Our Lord are not fulfilled yet. Above, Christ Judge as described in the Apocalypse
The third: the conversion of the Jewish people, who will adore the Lord Jesus and recognize Him as the promised Messiah (Rom 11:14-17). Until then, says St. Paul, "Let no man deceive you by any means ... as if the day of the Lord were at hand” (2 Thess 2:2).
It is evident that the last two events, which St. Paul declares are to mark the approach of the great tribulation, have not so far been fulfilled. The Antichrist has not yet appeared, as we shall show in the next discourse. Also, the Jews, as a nation, have not yet cast off the thick veil that prevents them from acclaiming as God Him whom they crucified. It remains to be ascertained whether, at the present time, the Gospel has been preached all over the earth and given for a testimony to the totality of nations.
The Gospel still needs to conquer many peoples
On this point the Fathers and Doctors are divided. Some say that the words of Christ are to be interpreted morally, and should be understood in the sense of a partial, summary preaching.
For them to be fulfilled, it is enough that missionaries should have enlightened a certain number of individual minds in the various parts of the inhabited earth, and that the Cross should have been raised at least once on each deserted and remote hillside. Others, more numerous, like St. Jerome and Bede, insist that the words of the Son of God should be understood in the most strict and literal sense.
Cornelius a Lapide, the most learned of the interpreters of the Sacred Books, expresses the opinion that the end of time will not come until Christianity has been not only proclaimed and propagated, but established and organized, and has subsisted at the level of a public institution, among men of every race and nationality.
Many peoples are still waiting for the Gospel; above Pakistani girls, below, Nigerian women
And this in such a way that, before the centuries have run their course, there will not be a single barbarian shore, not one island lost in the ocean or any place at present unknown in the two hemispheres where the Gospel has not shone in all its splendor, where the Church has not made herself manifest in her legislation, her solemnities and hierarchy, including the bishops and lower clergy. In a word, everywhere the great prophecy "There will be one fold and one shepherd" will be completely fulfilled (Commentary on Matthew).
We incline to this latter opinion. It is more in harmony with the testimony of Holy Scripture. It is more in accord with the wisdom and mercy of God, who makes no distinction between the civilized and the barbarian, Greeks and Jews, but, desiring the salvation of all men, does not exclude any of them from the light and gift of Redemption. Finally, it accords better with the ways of Providence, which shows an equal solicitude for all peoples and calls them in turn to the knowledge of its law, in the time appointed by its immutable decrees.
One need only to glance at a map to recognize that the Gospel law is far from having been promulgated to all peoples, and that innumerable multitudes at the present time remain sunk in darkness, and do not possess the slightest shadow of revealed truth. …
Clearly, the Gospel has not yet been preached as a witness to all nations! Can we even say that it has been preached with sufficient luster, and in such a way as to leave with no excuse those who have refused to obey it? On each page of the annals of the Propagation of the Faith, we find this sorrowful strain, welling up from the hearts of apostles: "Therefore ask the harvest-master to send workers to his harvest."
Further confirmation in the Scriptures
Now, it is written that, at the end of time, the gospel will have been given as a witness to all the nations. David cries out, "All peoples, to the ends of the earth, will remember the Lord and re-turn to Him, because dominion belongs to Him and He governs the nations" (Ps 22:28-29).
Further on, David continues, "May He rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. His foes shall bow before Him, and His enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Sheba shall bring tribute" (Ps. 72:8-10).
The Lord then speaks to the Church through Isaiah: "Enlarge the space of your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes. For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left; your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall populate the desolate cities” (Is 54:2-3).
These texts are explicit and precise. It is clear from their testimony that there will come a time when all heresies and schisms will be overcome, and when the true religion will be known and practiced in all places illuminated by the sun.
Fr. Charles Arminjon, The End of the Present World,
Sophia Institute Press, 2008, pp. 16-18
Posted December 22, 2010
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