Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective (36) – Unity – That They May All Be One

Standard

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

820 “Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.” Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, so that the world may know that you have sent me.” The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.

Clearly, there is disunity in the Christian community. This is no accident. Pride is the ultimate divisor, and throughout history there have been times of pridefulness within certain confines of the Catholic Church that drove believers away, and there have been occasions of pridefulness on the part of those who split away and took others with them. There were times when obedience was called for but humility was lacking, and there were times where obedience was demanded in matters for which the demand was unreasonable.

This is all called “sin.” And it is perfectly understanable why Satan would look to attack the unity of the Christian Church. Look at the words of Jesus above: “may they also be one in us, so that the world may know that you have sent me.” It is not a negative assault upon any individual who is not Catholic (and perhaps never has even been properly exposed to the faith) to point out that disunity in the Church is most likely the one largest reason why there is a general lack of faith in the world. When a non-Christian (or apathetic Christian) steps back and looks at us, it is not an unfair question for them to ask “so… you all believe different things and you all claim that the Bible and Holy Spirit tell you that you’re right, and yet there are a gazillion denominations, non-denominations, home-churches… WHO’S RIGHT!?” It is quite likely that the person asking this will dismiss it all and either eschew religion altogether, look to a non-Christian alternative, or just pick one that makes him or her feel the best about themselves. Disunity is a travesty far beyond any of the sins of the Church that spawned disunity in the first place. And the division does not confine itself to denominational lines. When you hear that 80% or more of married Catholics use contraception – in clear contradiction to the moral teachings of the Church – there is a lack of unity even within the Church. And eventually, many Catholics fall away from the faith because of it.

It is healthy to recognize past failings, as long as it is in the proper perspective. People tend to want to “get away” from the issues they see, and too often will transcend them to improper levels. If the local Priest preaches heresy, one may feel inclined to head down the street to the denomination next door, but this is problematic. Doctrinal positions require that unambiguous truths exist. Going to the church next door may feel good on emotional and personable levels, but if there are doctrinal differences between them and the Catholic Church, then an honest evaluation of that needs to be considered before making a rash, emotional decision. I have seen those who leave for non-doctrinal reasons, and then allow themselves to slowly accept the doctrinal differences that go against Church teachings, but it is not an intellectually honest evaluation that they have done. They did not honestly struggle with the hard questions about whether or not God was calling them to understand their faith before they left, or whether or not they were being called to stay where they were for the purpose of helping to right the problems in the Parish.

So, what does this have to do with prophecy? It has everything to do with it. Timothy says that people will leave the truth of the Church for simple messages that “tickle their ears.” Further, it is clearly a continued attack on the unity of Christians that is emblematic of end-time prophecies. Further, there is a belief that, prior to the return of Christ, there must be a stronger unity among Christians. Remembering that Catholics don’t view the End Times as a specific number of years at the end of time, but all time succeeding the Resurrection of Christ, we can see the falling away from the unified faith as a sign of the end times unfolding over the last few centuries.

Advertisements

One response »

Diatribe it back! Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s