Facing dangers with sobriety

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2 Tes 2:1-3a,14-17

About the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers, and our being gathered to him: please do not be too easily thrown into confusion or alarmed by any manifestation of the Spirit or any statement or any letter claiming to come from us, suggesting that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in any way. It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and there has appeared the wicked One, the lost One, through our gospel he called you to this so that you should claim as your own the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such ceaseless encouragement and such sure hope,

Repeatedly in our meditations, we have discussed the sobriety we should have in the face of statements concerning the “Day of the Lord” or the Second Coming of Christ. However, to be sober does not mean that we should reject out of hand every prophetic word that seeks to prepare us for difficult times and warn us of the dangers that lie in wait for God’s children. In fact, the latter attitude would lack sobriety as much as its opposite attitude, which would be to be in constant and anxious search for special revelations everywhere.

If we listen carefully to the words of the Apostle Paul, we will see that he exhorts us not to be so easily bewildered or alarmed. Rather, we are to examine with serenity all that is presented to us.

In connection with the “Day of the Lord”, St. Paul also speaks to us about the “the wicked One”, the “the lost One”, and about the apostasy that precedes the Return of Christ. This apostasy does not seem to be an event that is limited only to certain regions or countries; it will affect a great number of people, who live a life without God. If we speak of a “falling away from God” – and this is what is meant by the term “apostasy” – it can only concern people or nations who were previously closer to God.

Apostasy is a sign that precedes the coming of the “Son of Perdition”. In all parts of the world, the Catholic faithful have to see with pain how so many people no longer live in a living relationship with God and many no longer even seek Him; how many nations that were formerly strongholds of the Catholic faith are being swept away by the whirlwind of apostasy or have already sunk into it. Even in the Church, the bulwark of the faith, we can note alarming signs of an “intra-ecclesial apostasy”.

Could it be that the “Son of Perdition”, whom we can also call the “Antichrist”, will soon manifest himself?

We cannot rule out this possibility – on the contrary! Somehow, we have to count on it. That is why it is so important never to lose our vigilance and not to be carried away by the current of this world. Apostasy does not necessarily happen from one moment to the next; it can spread in a subtle and insidious way, slowly permeating the world and the Church with its poison. This is what is happening today! Particularly tragic is its spread within the Church, which is called to offer resistance to the “Son of Perdition”.

According to St. Paul’s advice, let us remain sober and not allow ourselves to be dazed even in the most threatening scenarios. Rather, let us stand firm and, following the Apostle’s exhortation, let us preserve the traditions we have received. Let us put our hope in the Lord!

To counteract this apostate tendency – apart from standing firm ourselves in the faith, in the Word and in the way of sanctification – we can offer spiritual resistance.

That is why I have asked Harpa Dei to include in this meditation a special hymn of St. Hildegard of Bingen, in which we implore the help of the holy angels, asking them to drive away the darkness and separate the light from the darkness, both in the world, in the Church and in our own hearts. May the Lord also use Sacred Music to weaken the anti-Christian forces and make His praise resound!

Under the following link you will find the complete version of the Hymn of St. Hildegard of Bingen to the Holy Angels: