Friday, December 4, 2020

Catholic Medieval End Times Prophets

Is there really a mark of the beast (Catholic)?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Catholic convert, reading many Catechisms
I take the question as meaning, do Catholics believe there is such a thing (present, past or future) as the mark of the beast.

I recall a remark of St. Thomas Aquinas which I do not find.

The thing is, God told the Jews to hold the commandments to their forehead and to their hand, and St. Thomas thinks this does not mean to tie phylacteries on oneself, but to meditate on the commandments so as to observe them and to keep them in one’s works.

So, the mark of the beast will be to meditate on the malice Antichrist requires so as to observe it, or to practise it (anyway).

But he adds, he cannot exclude that there will also be an external mark, by which the servants of the Antichrist recognise each other.

So far, St. Thomas, what I remembered. Now an observation:

The prophecy about no buying or selling except for those taking the mark in forehead (the word may refer to other parts of the face!) or hand, seems to require that salesmen can recognise those taking them. And, at least in theory, get punished for buying from or selling to others.

Here is another quote from St. Thomas, with comments:

Opening the Book of Revelation (XVII)

It - the quote - refers to

The other effect of the sacraments, which is a character (Tertia Pars, Q. 63) Article 3. Whether the sacramental character is the character of Christ? and in that to: Reply to Objection 3.

Patricia Woodbury
Have never heard a priest speak of the beast or his mark, in church or any other time. I am and have always been a practicing Catholic. In fact I have taken sufficient post graduate credits for a masters in religious studies. No, it is some protestants who make much of the beast not Catholics.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
21h ago
Have you studied Medieval Catholic writers?

Sts Thomas Aquinas and even more St. Bridget of Vadstena (also known as “of Sweden”) side with what you take as Protestants against your priests.

Read up on St. Thomas in this one:

The signs that will precede the judgment (Supplementum, Q. 73)

(and please don’t take “read up on” as lack of respect, but short for “you are able to read up on” etc).

This one is variously described as by St. Thomas Aquinas or by James of Benevent (a region where St. Thomas Aquinas is from):

Jacobus de Benevento, De adventu Antichristi

(If you try to object, St. Thomas was from Sicily, the region called "Benevent” and the region called “Two Sicilies” is by and large the same region, just that Benevent refers to Byzantines holding out against Lombard conquest, Two Sicilies is the historic time from Normans and Anjou reconquest from Arabs).

Now, admittedly, the majority of modern scholars prefer calling it by Jacobus de Benevento.

A change may have come due to:

We decree and ordain, with the approval of the sacred council, that nobody -whether a secular cleric or a member of any of the mendicant orders or someone with the right to preach by law or custom or privilege or otherwise — may be admitted to carry out this office unless he has first been examined with due care by his superior, which is a responsibility that we lay on the superior’s conscience, and unless he is found to be fit and suitable for the task by his upright behaviour, age, doctrine, honesty, prudence and exemplary life. Wherever he goes to preach, he must provide a guarantee to the bishop and other local ordinaries concerning his examination and competence, by means of the original or other letters from the person who examined and approved him. We command all who undertake this task of preaching, or will later undertake it, to preach and expound the gospel truth and holy scripture in accordance with the exposition, interpretation and commentaries that the church or long use has approved and has accepted for teaching until now, and will accept in the future, without any addition contrary to its true meaning or in conflict with it. They are always to insist on the meanings which are in harmony with the words of sacred scripture and with the interpretations, properly and wisely understood, of the doctors mentioned above. They are in no way to presume to preach or declare a fixed time for future evils, the coming of antichrist or the precise day of judgment; for Truth says, it is not for us to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. Let it be known that those who have hitherto dared to declare such things are liars, and that because of them not a little authority has been taken away from those who preach the truth .

Fifth Lateran Council 1512-17 A.D. - Papal Encyclicals

But declaring a fixed time (like Russell for 1917) and declaring the present times are probable is not the same.

I think these words have been applied sometimes with excessive rigour.

St. Hilary is supposed to - yes, he of Poitiers - have said “within one generation” - he was wrong, but he was not a heretic and had not fixed a date:

Anyone Read Patrologia Latina 10, p. / col. 611, Contra Arianos by Hilary of Poitiers?

Patricia Woodbury
13h ago
All I meant by some protestant do is because I have heard some go on and on about the beast and the mark etc. I did not mean to imply that no Catholic scholar had ever commented on these passages. But they are surely not commented on to the extant that …again …some Protestant churches do. I started to say no, but I have actually have somewhat. And some of what they said is surely still good. Just as I like some of what the early church fathers, the desert fathers and mothers said is still good. But for the most part my theology is of today. And absolutely the stuff about the mark of the beast belongs to my mind to the past and a very different way of thinking. I had three vol of Brigit of Sweden. I gave them to a religious order which follows her. So I’m sorry but I won’t read all about those lovely quotes you have above. I’m simply not interested in ideas I feel are out of date. They seem to me to be very like modern conspiracy theories. I also don’t follow the ideas about witches from that time. No et he ideas Thomas had about birth and men and women. Enjoy your reading. But no convert here, I’m afraid. Peace and all good from a medieval saint. Pace e bene. PS do you find these passages of great importance in your faith life?

[answered twice, I, II]

Hans-Georg Lundahl
3m ago
“belongs to my mind to the past and a very different way of thinking.”

“I’m simply not interested in ideas I feel are out of date.”

Another thing you might find slightly dated then : Chesterton’s dictum, that one of the perks of being a Catholic is that it frees a man “from the degrading slavery of being a child of his times”.

You are aware San Francesco Bernardone also made enunciations about the end times? Like lots of Franciscans in those times not really following his rule?

Patricia Woodbury
13h ago
I hardly feel a child of my times. Too few are my thoughts that coincide with popular notions. But I am a child of my times in regards to study of scripture and my faith I suppose. But not popular faith. Though I find some modern scripture scholars speak to me better than Chesterton or CS Lewis or Dorothy Sayers. On the other hand popular scripture related books aren’t my cup of tea. AMDG

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
With that attitude your previous words become somewhat obscure to me.

What Chesterton and CSL recommended was not getting hooked on last few generations, but going back in history, notably to the Middle Ages.

Which I have followed.

Patricia Woodbury
17m ago
Why to the Middle Ages? Why not back to the beginning? I think we have discovered so much more about the early church and the languages of the Bible and the times it was written in that sticking to the Middle Ages seems counter to a full inderstanding of our faith. And I admit to a failing in my imagination, I do not think well in metaphor and figurative language which it seems these writers and the Middle Ages reveled in.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
  • 1) What did St. Hippolytus of Rome have to say about the Apocalypse (he’s early)?
  • 2) “ I do not think well in metaphor and figurative language which it seems these writers and the Middle Ages reveled in.” - They revelled in noting when an OT historic reality was prophecy of a salvific NT reality. Which the faith requires us to believe in.
    Do We Need Unwritten Traditions?
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
PS, I am not very interested in ideas I find too modern like “of great importance in someone’s faith life”.

But apart from that, I have considered that real Catholics these days are EIGHTH day Adventists … (not White’s 7th Day, obviously!)

Patricia Woodbury
13h ago
To each his own. I pray my way. You do it your way. I believe God hears all prayers. Peace.

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