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I.   The early Christians were greatly concerned with the END OF THE WORLD; and St. Paul, like Christ, spoke much about it.  This traditional concern for the END TIMES is still strong among the protestants but virtually non-existent among the Catholics, which is difficult to understand since the LITURGY of the Catholic Church is eschatological, i.e. that which looks forward and prepares for the END TIMES.  

II.   The early Christians looked forward to the LAST DAYS because it is the final victory of good over evil, the end of all problems and tears.  It is the grand wedding between Christ and his Virgin Church.  This makes the END TIMES the most prophesied event in the Bible.  

III.   God, in His wisdom, has not told men the exact time of the end; but, in His mercy, He gave signs to announce its proximity, seeing to it that only those who keep his commandments will recognize the signs while the "sons of disobedience" will not recognize the signs and be caught unawares, while eating and drinking, as in the days of Noah.  

Heretofore, we present the PAROUSIA series where we shall present the SIGNS of the END TIMES as found in Scriptures and as explained by the Fathers and the Saints.  

IV.   The Great Falling Away.  ". . .and many shall fall away"  (Matt. 24, 9-12).  St. Paul states that the END will only be near at the onset of the GREAT FALLING AWAY (2Thes. 2), also described as the great apostasy or the great rebellion.  

Since the beginning of Christianity, there have been many "little" falling away's or apostasies; this explains the countless divisions within the Church of Christ.  But during the END TIMES, a large portion of Catholics will, by choice, fall away from the teachings of Christ BUT will remain Catholics in name, thus wreaking havoc and confusion within the Church.  Not only will these Catholics fall away, but they will also persecute the few who will remain faithful to Christ's commands: ". . .whoever kills you will think he does a service to God."  

Yes, this great falling away has been happening since the beginning of Christianity, but, at the END TIMES, it will be in a grand scale and most sinister in character.  

V.   Causes of the Great Falling Away: fruitless theological discussions and disputations of knowledge falsely so styled.  During the END TIMES, Christians will be so effeminate in spirit that they will be unable to endure or accept sound doctrines but, having itching ears, they will, in accordance with their own desires, accumulate teachers for themselves who teach fictions.  They will be lovers  of self, lovers of money, ungrateful to those who do them good.  Children will have no natural affection towards their parents and parents will have no natural affection towards their own, thus making abortion common and done without compunction.  They will be hostile to whatever is good and friendly to whatever is evil.  They will be lovers of pleasures and haters of self-denial and sufferings.  This is how Catholics will be at the END TIMES.  

Though holding on to Scriptures, they will disparag TRADITION as "old mentality" thus denying themselves the only correct interpretation of Scriptures.  So, confronted with Christ's command "to . . .leave father, mother, brothers. . .", bishops will reply, "That's not what Christ really meant."  Confronted by Christ's command to "Go home, sell all your things and give to the poor. . .", priests will reply, "You don't really have to do that.  That's only for religious."  

Because TRADITION is rejected, religious orders will be unfaithful to their founders and holy rules.  Catholic Education will be devoid of Christ's commands which are the basis of Christians living.  The clergy will be proud, selfish, unjust, covetous, and forgetful of their vows.  

Canon Law will be ignored, firstly, by those who made it and, secondly, by those who have vowed to enforce it.  Family life will be torn asunder by betrayals.  And those rightfully in power will be overthrown, while treatises are easily broken.  

VI.   The Jews were chosen and tested.  Because they failed, they were rejected and the Gentiles were chosen instead.  The Gentiles were chosen and tested; they will also fail and God will reject them. . .for a moment; and choose the Jews again.  Just as the Jewish nation rejected Christ, the Gentiles will also reject Him and this latter is the GREAT FALLING AWAY that will, however, culminate in the return of the Jewish nation to God through Christ.  

In the Great Falling Away, that which will announce the proximity of the times, the Catholic Church, except for a small portion (which we shall describe in later series) will become the largest protestant sect of Christ's Church, maintaining all the trappings of Catholicity, but none of Christ's commands.  






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                                                                                         - Teresa of Avila


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