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PAROUSIA




 

 

ST. GREGORY THE GREAT and the Anti-Christ

"In the world you will have tribulations."  The Church is a suffering Church, the type of Christ, in their rejection by the world.  Gregory had to deal with THIS WORLD as represented by the heresies of Trianism, neo-Nestorians, Monophysitea and Donatist, all claiming to be orthodox teachers of the Faith.  St. Gregory compares them to Job's wife and Elihu; the former typifies the carnally-minded within the Church; the latter, the proud in the Church.  

Clerics, lay people, princes and paupers, sadly, are attached to the things of this world, specially to power over men.  The love of God has grown cold and the love of self is a sign within the Church intruding in her every nook and shown in lust for power.  And the true followers of Christ are destined to suffer in the hands of those lusting for power and glory.  

St. Gregory specially laments bishops who too easily assume airs of inflated authority inappropriate to their spiritual role and who do not devote themselves to their proper office of preaching the gospel. 

Just as Christ will use the poor,  uncultured and simple to preach the truth of the Gospel, the anti-Christ will choose the wise of this world, the double-minded, the arrogant intellectuals to preach lies about revealed truths.

St. Gregory states that the anti-Christ will run wild against the just with such cruelty and hatred that even the elect will be struck with extraordinary fear.  The saints will be driven out into the wilderness; many of them will be martyred.  "At the end times, the anti-Christ will capture all men who seek their delights in the goods, interests and pleasure of this world.  Such men will submit themselves with pleasure."  

Gregory was after the well-being of the Church; he wanted his flock ready to face the mighty anti-Christ who will possess the oppressive power of this world plus a fake aura of holiness.  Gregory warns that the anti-Christ will unite all forces hostile to the Church, like heretical professors of the Christian Faith, worldly Christian leaders, ecclesiastics who are merely after power. . .this he calls the hostile power within the Church.  But these apocalyptic fears, Gregory consoles us, should never paralyze the Church but, instead, make her advance her mission of salvation and holiness.  

 

 

 

 

(10-21-04)

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