Sunday, July 20, 2014

St. Elijah, The Prophet of the End Times

Prophet Elijah, "Behold a little cloud rising from the sea."

Now I am sending to you Elijah the prophet, Before the day of the LORD comes, the great and terrible day ... Malachi 3: 23

Today Carmelites celebrate the feast of the Holy Prophet Elijah, as do the Orthodox.  I've always been fascinated with the figure of Elijah whom God raised up amidst great apostasy, and whom tradition holds beheld the coming of the Messiah upon Mt. Carmel.  It is all there, hidden in Sacred Scripture, explained to us by the Fathers of the Church, ancient and new.

"Do not love the world or the things which are in the world, for the boasting of the world and its destruction belong to the devil." Apocalypse of Elijah

July 20 is the feast of St. Elijah.

From the 11th century, Carmelites have claimed Elijah as their founder; John and Teresa* arrived much later as the reformers of the order, yet they also pointed to Elijah as their Father.  For centuries, the Carmelites of the Primitive Observance literally traced their foundation to the followers of Elijah on Mt. Carmel, today I believe all Carmelites simply venerate him as Prototype and Patron.  Likewise, Elijah is venerated by both the East and the West as a monastic archetype.

In the 19th century a Coptic manuscript was found, known as the Apocalypse of Elijah.  Elijah is of course associated with the coming of the Messiah - for Jews and Christians - Muslims as well.  Christ attested to his coming in the Gospel - in regard to John the Baptist.  Jews still set a place at table for Elijah, and the Book of Revelation speaks of his return at the end times.  Occasionally I wonder if the current resurgence of Carmelite spirituality and attempts at reform, is somehow a 'sign' of Elijah's presence?  Just wondering of course ...

Elijah passes on the prophetic mantel to Elisha.

"No one is able to enter the holy place if he is double minded.  The one who is double minded in his prayer is darkness to himself. And even the angels do not trust him." - Apocalypse

Anyway - I'll post excerpts of the Apocalypse of Elijah below:
 1.The word of YHWH came to me saying, "Son of man, say to his people, 'why do you add sin to your sins and anger the Lord God who created you ?' " 2.Don't love the world or the things which are in the world, for the boasting of the world and its destruction belong to the devil.

13.Hear, O wise men of the land, concerning the deceivers who will multiply in the last times so that they will set down for themselves doctrines which do not belong to God, setting aside the Law of God, those who have made their belly their God, saying, "The fast does not exist, nor did God create it," making themselves strangers to the covenant of God and robbing themselves of the glorious promises. 14.Now these are not ever correctly established in the firm faith. Therefore don't let those people lead you astray.

25.Likewise no one is able to enter the holy place if he is double minded. 26.The one who is double minded in his prayer is darkness to himself. And even the angels do not trust him. 27.Therefore be single-minded in the Lord at all times so that you might know every moment. - Apocalypse of Elijah

Evidence of apostasy in our day?

I think many problems arise when well meaning people attempt to find meaning and understand the confusion of our times by relying on private revelations which relate to apocalyptic literature and Biblical prophecy, often adhering to literal interpretations of events that may or may not have taken place so far, or as regards events still to come.  Frequently these interpretations are founded upon hearsay of what this pope or that priest or some mystic may have said, or something a locutionist published.  Confusion is inevitable when we rely on such prophecies and warnings - more or less trusting these sources more than what the Church has always taught.

I think private revelations such as those attributed to Bl. Anna Katherine Emmerich, as well as the revelations attributed to Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, and even the dubious message of La Salette, may have influenced much of the resistance we see today from traditionalists to Pope Francis as well as just about everything written by the Council Fathers at Vatican II.

One reads direct quotations from spurious apparitions and private revelation in the com boxes of blogs which 'shun' anyone with a contrary opinion to their decoding of the Great Apostasy, while even the posts on such blogs suggest Francis is an anti-Pope, and false prophet, based on the same spurious prophecies.  As if God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, is going to trick Christians with a false Pope.

They will follow visionaries but ignore the Gospel.

I often quote St. John of the Cross on the dangers of private revelations and locutions and how our ways are not God's ways.  That we interpret things according to our bias and fears.  It amazes me that people will be online 24 hours a day yet miss the stories of media manipulation and dissimulation.  Recently news revealed Google was doing scientific testing, researching the reactions of users to particular stories and headlines intended to incite emotions in the reader.  The advertising industry uses similar information and tactics, and don't ignore what Snowden has been telling us about the NSA.  Likewise, do you think schismatics would be above publishing anything and everything coming from the post-conciliar Church in the most negative way possible, inciting further division among faithful Catholics?

The gates of hell will not prevail - Jesus Christ will not abandon the faithful.  The Church is the ark ...

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. - Catechism of the Catholic Church

Do not be double minded, do not put your faith in private revelations, private opinion, or schismatic fear-mongers - read the catechism, meditate the Gospel, avoid satisfying curiosity, frequent the sacraments and Mass, and pray, pray, pray.   The Pope is Christ's vicar on earth.

St. Elijah, pray for us.

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