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End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life Paperback – January 26, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

It's one of those books that come out of nowhere almost literally just when the world needs it most.

Is it all correct what it reveals about the future, both for the world and the soul? From the vantage point of earth, who can say? It is written by a human.

But a great saint Th r se of Lisieux was so taken by this book that it spurred her entry into the convent. "Reading this book was one of the greatest graces of my life," she says in her autobiography. "The impression I received from it is too sweet to express. All the great truths of religion and the mysteries of eternity plunged into my soul a happiness not of this earth."

Completed in 1881 by an aged French priest, this remarkable book surfaced long enough to draw Th r se into the convent and then, for more than a century, plunged back into obscurity.

Now we offer you the very first English translation of this hope-filled, chilling work.

In it, Fr. Arminjon gets right to the point: "The end of the world, Christ says, will come when the human race, sunk in the depths of indifference, is far from thinking about punishment and justice. It will be as in the days of Noah, when men lived without a care, built luxurious homes, and mocked Noah as he built his ark."

"Civilization will be at its zenith, markets overflowing with money, and stocks will never have been higher. Mankind, wallowing in unprecedented material prosperity, will have ceased to hope for heaven. Crudely attached to pleasures, man will say 'My soul, you have goods to last for many years. Eat, drink and be merry.' "

Doesn't that sound eerily like America just a year or so ago?

Fr. Arminjon insists that we "steer clear of every perilous opinion and make no assertion that is not justified by Tradition and the doctrine of the Fathers." Yet it's precisely his sober reliance on Scripture and Tradition that makes this book so convincing . . . and so chilling!

But Fr. Arminjon doesn't merely sketch the darkness ahead; he also shows how Jesus will fill that darkness with light; and he details the rich bounty Christ has in store for all who stay faithful.

That's what caught Th r se up in such fervent love of God, nourished her impatience for Heaven, and confirmed her decision to choose a life wholly consecrated to Divine Love.

The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life: let it show you how to read the signs of the times and prepare you to bear yourself as a Christian (as it did Th r se) . . . no matter what the future holds!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (January 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933184388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933184388
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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A grandiloquent previous reviewer and the synopsis of the book point out the importance of this book to St. Therese, so I won't go into that here. I think it stands well enough on its own even despite its connection to the Little Flower.
I would divide this book into three sections: first, it presents a Catholic end-times theology, and details the coming of the Antichrist, Resurrection of the Dead, and Last Judgment. Next, it discusses Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell. Finally, it discusses the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and suffering, which of course deal with this world but have consequences in the hereafter. The chapters of the book are actually conferences that Fr. Arminjon presented, and since they were initially delivered as speeches they are easy reading despite the wealth of information they contain. The translation is excellent.
With the popularity of the Left Behind series and the importance of end-times theology to the Evangelical Protestant community, it's nice to have a presentation of Catholic eschatology. I've had a hard time finding a book that does what this one does--namely presenting what exactly will happen when the time comes for Christ to return. Catholics place less of an emphasis on this than Protestants, but it's still a part of our religion and needs to be understood. This book was written before the historical-critical interpretation of scripture became prevalent in the Catholic Church, and so prophesy is interpreted literally instead of being explained away as a metaphor only relevant to the ancient author. It's frightening, but living life with one eye fixed on the four last things will make anyone a better Christian.
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I am an old time Pentecostal that began attending a conservative, pro-life Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) because I believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I still believe in tongues, so I guess that makes me a Charismatic Lutheran.
Father Arminjon's lectures covered two topics in particular that blessed me.
One was the chapter on Purgatory. Protestants believe that our works and deeds done in the Body will be tried by fire because St. Paul wrote that. Nowhere does it tell us how long and how severe the fire will be, so the doctrine of Purgatory is not too hard for me as a Protestant to believe.
The second reason I give this book a great recommendation is the last chapter on Christian suffering as the means of redemption. Protestants throw the baby out with the bath water when we reject the doctrine of redemptive suffering. Even though I am not fully convinced that we play a part in our redemption through suffering, I do see that it is a powerful means of purgation in this world. We grow through our sufferings, and while most Protestants agree with this, we may tend to avoid it more than we should, at least that has been my own personal experience.
I am trying with God's grace to not only accept my sufferings but to embrace them. This is a hard thing to do, and I keep falling away from it, but this book helps remind me to do it.
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This is an excellent book, it tells me the in a very explicit way what the catholic religion is all about; the saving of souls, the ability or the desire to reach the goal of being worthy of eternal life, and to follow Jesus' footsetps. It just supports what I was being taught since I was a child; to bear misfortune or difficulties with patience (which is very difficult to achieve), have charity to all the living and dead, the importance of one's soul compared with the wordly goods. But most importantly, it shows that the signs of apostasy (wich are very much clear today with the current state of the church, the persecution of the clergy in Orissa, India,the rampant materialism, the worship of the senses either through sensual satisfaction, food, etc., and the desire to have an easy earthly life) was already happening during Father Charles Arminjon time.
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This book is outstanding!!!!! Buy it for yourself and tell your family and friends about it. With the times we are living in,and the world's view of living for the here and now, this book puts it all into perspective. What really matters is not the time we spend here which is limited, but eternity which is everlasting. It will help you make sense of the suffering and pain we endure in this life so as to spend our eternity with Him who is all love! Please, get this book and give it to others!
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This book should be read at least once by every Catholic. It is hard to put down once you start reading.

Yes, it has "scary" parts but it also brings comfort to those who wonder why they suffer and makes you want to enter Heaven as soon as possible (to me, the idea of death is not so alarming any more).

I became interested because of the quote from St. Therese of Lisieux who is the greatest Saint of all times for me.

This book described the creation of the earth, what heaven, Purgatory and hell will be like. The explanation of the creation of the Earth is so beautiful as is the description of Heaven.

Take the time to read this book - your life will be better!
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For a musical chord to shape itself and transform a noise into a melodious sound just the right combination of notes come together to form it. Saint Therese of Lisieux can be thought of as perhaps one of the most melodic chords in God's saintly and heavenly symphony . . . and one can study Therese's life to see what "notes" contributed to form her into who and what she was, became and is; a saint . . . a Doctor Of The Church (proclaimed one by the late Pope john Paul II) . . .and although seemingly unnoticed and almost insignificant on the world stage, one of the most admired and revered saints, transcending traditional denominational lines - something within her resonates like a harmonic chord in the hearts of so many . . .

One of those "notes" Saint Therese herself told us of: a book she had read at the age of fourteen (one she borrowed from her father) - a book of writings by Father Charles Arminjon called "The End Of The Present World(And The Mysteries Of The Future Life). But it wasn't the mere enanoration of a fouteen year old with some spiritual writings . . . Therese copied passages and prayed them for the rest of her life and even till shortly before her death told of what a grace this book brought to her. If one wants to know something of what helped make Therese Martin desire and succeed in becoming a saint, this book is one of the major influences within her soul. If it helped Therese to motivate herself to ever greater dedication to loving God in her life for an eternity of God's love in the next, these writings of Father Arminjon can help any of us to "get a proper perspective of "what this life's real purpose is" . . . we are all called, just like Therese, to belong to the same family: the communion of saints (here in this world and forever in the eternal one).
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