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End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life Paperback – January 26, 2009
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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!
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!