The Pope’s Resignation: is it the End of the World?

Who knows? It’s certainly a time to pray and fast for the good of the Church and the World.

Here’s what I don’t understand: Jesus specifically warned against the equivalent of “stocking up canned goods” in Luke 12, saying to store up treasure in Heaven. Paul, in 2 Thessalonians, is writing all about what *not* to do, and the oft-quoted “anyone who would not work should not eat” was referring to those who were doing the equivalent of “hiding out in a bunker” and waiting for the world to end. He who clings to his life will lose it; he who loses his life will find it forever.

In the Twilight Zone episode “The Shelter,” Larry Gates (later Guiding Light/s HB Lewis) plays Dr. Bill Stockton, a beloved family doctor who’s quite proud of the bomb shelter he’s built in his basement–with *just* enough room for him, his wife and his son, and stocked with just enough food (it is unclear whether he packed “just enough food” to last not only until *after* the fall-out of nuclear war but till after it was possible to *regrow* food). His friends and neighbors, gathered for his birthday, mock his paranoia–until reports come in that an actual nuclear war is on the verge of starting. Stockton hurries his family to the shelter, leaving the friends & neighbors behind. He locks them out. They come begging to be included. He says he doesn’t have any room–*maybe* one person if they insist. But he keeps screaming at them to leave and threatening to shoot them if they don’t. They fight among themselves viciously about who should be the one to survive with the Stockton family, and condemning each other’s real or perceived faults.

Then war *doesn’t* happen, and they’re all left with their relationships shattered by their selfishness.

When Jesus comes again, you’re not going to avoid that by hiding out in a bunker, and we have the assurance the world will not end until then. If it’s nuclear war, you’re not going to avoid that by hiding out in a bunker (interestingly, at Nagasaki, a Catholic Church was preserved from the destruction). If we’re going to experience a little turmoil that leads to the Era of Peace, then why fight it or fear it? If society collapses, stored goods will only last so long before you need more food, and refusing to share what you’ve stored with those in need will not win you points in Heaven.

And, if none of that stuff happens, and you wake up just as you did on December 22, 2012, or you come out of your bomb shelter like the Stocktons, and the world is still here, you look pretty silly. You might even, like the Stocktons, find yourself with shattered friendships.

And if you go to bed expecting the world doesn’t end, and your *life* ends, whether the world does or does not, you still make yourself liable to die and have the Lord say, “You fool! Did you not know that this very night your life would be demanded of you?! For I come like a thief in the night!”

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2 responses to “The Pope’s Resignation: is it the End of the World?

  1. Ok, I understand all of that. Still, I am a bit of a prepper- but a generous one, I will NEVER turn somebody away at my door who is hungry, and I see my food stores as prep for that (certainly, I have way more dry goods than my family can possibly eat- so much that about 6 months before expiration dates, SVDP gets a donation).

    But the question remains, what does an old man deciding to retire have to do with the end of the world? Even Malachi Martin’s prediction, which is private revelation and therefore not necessary to believe, gives us another Pope before the end of the world.

    • 1. “Generous” Prepping for practical disasters: That makes sense.
      2. St. Malachi/Malachy, not Malachi Martin, and I’m not a big believer in that particular “prophecy,” though this should definitely put it to rest, one way or another.
      3. Because the prophecy of “Peter the Roman” involves Rome being destroyed. Most other “related” prophecies suggested that “Peter the Roman” might be an anti-Pope. Since Benedict is *resigning*, and since most prophecies of an “anti-Pope” say the true Pope would be exiled, this is kind of uncanny. Plus, many have noted Benedict’s devotion to St. Celestine V, who also resigned, and Celestine V was apparently murdered by his successor, Boniface VIII.

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