Thursday, August 03, 2017

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson's 'Lord of the World'

Lord of the World

I noticed on Facebook that Aleteia has an article by Colin O'Brien on the book and its recommendation by Popes Benedict and Francis.  It's a prophetic book, no doubt.  I've written about it before, linking to Fr. John McCloskey's 2013 article, Introduction to Benson's 'Lord of the World'.  It's excellent.   I'll reprint an excerpt below.

Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson's Lord of the World is a novel about the Antichrist, who will tempt Christians to apostasy before Christ's Second Coming. It describes the final battle in the supernatural war for souls that has been fought continually both in heaven and on earth from the time of the Fall and will conclude with the general judgment; thereupon will follow the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. As we will see, before creating his fictional account, Msgr. Benson carefully explored the various passages on the endtimes included in Scripture and the teachings of the Church Fathers as background for this tale of the Antichrist.[...]I am, of course, drawing from traditional Catholic teaching regarding the events leading up to the Second Coming rather than to the hundreds of theories concerning the Antichrist, the Second Coming, and the Final Judgment that have multiplied in the thousands of Protestant denominations and sects whose authority is suspect at best and ludicrous at worst, given the absence of apostolic authority and divine foundation.
Blessed John Henry Newman says towards the end of the "Patristical Idea of Christ" that:
What I have said upon this subject may be summed up as follows: that the coming of Christ will be immediately preceded by a very awful and unparalleled outbreak of evil, called by St. Paul an Apostasy, a falling away, in the midst of which a certain terrible Man of sin and Child of perdition, the special and singular enemy of Christ, or Antichrist, will appear; that this will be when revolutions prevail, and the present framework of society breaks to pieces; and that at present the spirit which he will embody and represent is kept under by "the powers that be," but that on their dissolution, he will rise out of their bosom and knit them together again in his own evil way, under his own rule, to the exclusion of the Church. - Newman
These instances give us warning: Is the enemy of Christ, and His Church, to arise out of a certain special falling away from GOD?  - Finish reading here.

1 comment:

  1. I tried reading the novel. I only got halfway through it. It's not the best writing. However, I found something in it thought provoking: the Antichrist is a populist who draws big crowds. I couldn't help lining the description to someone who not long after ran successfully for president.


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