Monday, May 23, 2011

no rapture, not smug

It is a rare occurrence when 'conservative' Catholics are on the same page as atheists and cynical, secular talk show hosts. But it happened this weekend when the 'Rapture' did not happen this Saturday- taking good evangelicals up to Heaven, leaving Catholics, Jews and others behind. Saturday night, some people had 'left behind parties' to get drunk and snicker at those silly Bible Christians who would actually believe in Christ and hope for His second coming.

Now, I can get as frustrated as any Catholic with the selective nature of evangelical belief- the biggest example being that God created the world in six 24-hour days but the Eucharist isn't the Body and Blood of Christ (even though Jesus is literal- "Many people found it a hard teaching and left Him"). And it seems a bit tiring that a large group of evangelicals demonize the Catholic faith for using sacred tradition in addition to the Bible when they are using the very new words of a minister like Camping.

Why are people so interested in doomsday theology? We can guess that people are uneducated and easy to manipulate (did Camping give away all the money his ministry collected?). A lot of spirituality comes with fear attached to it. I want to get to heaven and see my Savior's face as much as the Camping crowd. But I must cling to the hope that living a life of virtue and using the Sacraments as help to achieve a life of virtue will prepare me for my death and God's judgement of my life.

Obsession with the rapture is a way to shield oneself from the reality of ones death. If God has chosen me and the rapture comes, then I don't need to worry about the isolation of death and that lonely walk that all must do alone. We Byzantine Catholics believe that Mary, the Mother of God was shielded from the power of death and simply 'fell asleep' before she was assumed into heaven- body and soul. She is the only one with this singular privilege because she was conceived without sin and is the Theotokos. The rest of us must do our duty and pray to be prepared for our death, whenever that might come.

for a post with more 'meat'- click here to read deltaflute's take on the 'rapture'

3 comments:

  1. Thank you. Very thoughtful and insightful. From old guy in Stayton

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  2. So true :-). I kept hoping that I and billions of other people were wrong and that this rapture would happen on Saturday and spare me more time on earth, but alas, Saturday came and went and here we are...

    I didn't realize Byzantine Catholics only believed in the assumption of the Mother of God - in our saints' lives I believe St. John the Theologian and St. Irene the Great-Martyr (and possibly others?) are also mentioned as having simply disappeared after their deaths.

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  3. Jon Marc- I think that those 'supplemental' stories would not be considered dogma...but I should get educated to make sure!

    This is me- my comments aren't letting me comment as Priest's wife! (?)

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thoughtful comments are welcome to the conversation! (moderation on posts older than a week...)

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