Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective, Part 16

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Continuing through the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it relates to prophecy:

556 On the threshold of the public life: the baptism; on the threshold of the Passover: the Transfiguration. Jesus’ baptism proclaimed “the mystery of the first regeneration”, namely, our Baptism; the Transfiguration “is the sacrament of the second regeneration”: our own Resurrection. From now on we share in the Lord’s Resurrection through the Spirit who acts in the sacraments of the Body of Christ. the Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of Christ’s glorious coming, when he “will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body.” But it also recalls that “it is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God”

This is included as a reminder to all who want to suggest that all “true believers” will escape persecution in the last times. First of all, as previously noted, we are already in the “last times,” and there is plenty of persecution of the faithful (in both physical manifestations and spiritual attacks) that we have seen historically as well as currently. Second of all, we have a long history of Christian persecution and martyrdom, which extends as well to Israel and the Jews prior to (and since) the birth of Christ. It would seem that, to the extent prophecy speaks to the sheltering or protection of Christians, this is limited to judgments of a divine nature against the lawless. However, Satan will not relent in his attacks against the Church and of Christians. There is no historical, and little prophetic, evidence to expect that we will be spared of suffering or even martyrdom. But this has been the call since the beginning, and it is our call today. So it really is nothing new, and it is nothing we are to fear. The entry above from the Catechism demonstrates that very purpose persecution is to allow us to enter the kingdom of God – in its fullness.

Many have likely heard of references to the “rapture.” There is much controversy among Christians as to what this means, when it will occur, or whether it occurs at all. I will not go into the idea too much right now, other than to say the idea of a rapture of Christians for the purpose of escaping persecutions to come is simply not a Catholic view of how God works through His saints in the building of His kingdom. The time will come where we will delve much deeper into where the idea of the rapture comes from, and its implications. For now, suffice it to say that many of the prevailing views on the community of our evangelical and fundamentalist brothers and sisters in Christ is not consistent with a Catholic view. We will discuss why that is at a future time.

Also noted above is a reference to the great prophetic event of our own Resurrection and our own Glorious body. The Catechism addresses Christ’s glorified body in more detail later on when discussing Christ’s Resurrection, and I’ll post that later.

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