Sunday, January 22, 2012

16. Long ago the following prophecy was made, and now we see its fulfillment: "See how in peace my bitterness is most bitter." It was bitter at first in the slaying of the martyrs, more bitter in later times in the struggle with the heretics, but now most bitter of all in the corrupt morals of the members of the household. She cannot drive them away nor fly from them, so strong have they grown, so numerous beyond counting. This sickness of the Church is deeply rooted and incurable, which is why that during peace her bitterness is most bitter. But what is the nature of this peace? It is a peace that is not peace. She has peace from the pagans, peace from the heretics, but not from her own sons. And so today we hear her grief-laden words: "Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me." They have rebelled, they have dishonored me, by their shameful lives, their shameful gains, their shameful trafficking, by all the intrigue that is perpetuated in the darkness.

Nothing remains but for the noontide devil antichrist to appear in our midst, to seduce those who still abide in Christ, who remain faithful to his truth. For he has already swallowed up the rivers of the wise and the streams of the powerful; he is even confident that Jordan will flow into his mouth, that he will devour the humble and the simple who are still in the Church. For he is Antichrist, who pretends that he is not only the day but the very noon, who "exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship," whom "the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of his mouth," whom he will destroy with the light of his coming, because he is the true and eternal Noontide, the Bridegroom and defender of the Church; he is God, blessed for ever. Amen.

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