Not by a historic triumph...

Blogged by James Preece on 23rd October 2012

Something else we all need reminding about...

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.

 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.”

[Catechism of the Catholic Church 675-677]

It's very easy to think that the Church is supposed to get bigger and stronger over the years until everybody in the world is a Catholic and then Jesus returns and says "Nice work! Doesn't look like there's much left for me to do... I'll just sit in this throne over here while you get on with it."

The reality is quite different - the Catechism tells us that the Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only when she follows Jesus in his death and ressurection. By God's victory - not ours. Another reason then, to entrust the great cause of protecting the civilisation of life and love to Mary the Mother of God.

h/t to Aelianus at Laodicea for the quote