Tuesday 9th February 2016

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Mabel And The Antichrist

November 30, 2013 Featured Today No Comments

By JOHN YOUNG

In 1908 Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson published his futuristic novel Lord of the World, set about a century ahead and depicting the coming of Antichrist and the end of the world. The book was highly praised by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and it merits consideration today — when we are at approximately the time of the story.
Benson made an attempt to predict technological advances, and in this regard his book is closer to the mark than some futurist novels. Air travel was well-established, with aircraft called volors. Apparently a volor had only one propeller, and the wings flapped up and down! Of course it is impossible to predict future changes with any degree of confidence. George Orwell published his book Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, so he had to look ahead only 35 years, and he was right about the change from pounds, shillings, and pence to decimal currency in Britain; but he gave them dollars and cents instead of pounds and pence.
Chesterton was probably wise to ignore technological advances in his novel The Napoleon of Notting Hill; published in 1904, it depicts events a century later, but people are still traveling in hansom cabs and horse-drawn buses.
In this article I will concentrate on the general picture of society Robert Hugh Benson projects, and in particular on the effect of that society on one character — Mabel Brand. I’ll relate that to Western society today.
Msgr. Benson rightly saw the early 21st century, particularly in Europe and America (the United States had annexed Canada!), as a time of all-embracing secularism. The religious people who remained were nearly all Catholics, and the irreligious were materialists and Communists. Freemasonry and Marxism had been dominant factors in the triumph of secularism and the overthrowing of religion.
The great fear was that war would break out between the West and the East, a war with disastrous consequences because of the terrible weapons of destruction that science had made possible. Then came a mysterious charismatic figure who reconciled the opposing sides and brought the promise of permanent and universal peace.
Julian Felsenburgh was his name, and he was hailed as Savior of the world. He was seen as “the kind of figure that belonged rather to the age of chivalry: a pure, clean, compelling personality, like a radiant child.” He had arisen out of the flat, socialistic level of a world that had lost all ultimate meaning, and which saw Man as the ultimate reality. Now here, in Felsenburgh, was the perfect representative of divine man. So he was referred to as Incarnate God. In reality, he was Antichrist!
Nineteen-year-old Mabel Brand, married to a prominent politician, craved a world of peace and harmony, but she and her husband viewed religion as an impediment to this, and as something evil and irrational. When Julian Felsenburgh came she welcomed him as the fulfillment of her dreams of a better kind of life than the current materialistic society offered.
“I saw the Son of Man,” she said. “Oh! There is no other phrase. The Savior of the world. . . . I knew Him in my heart as soon as I saw Him.”
The One who now bore these divine titles “was no longer a monstrous figure, half God and half man, claiming both natures and possessing neither. . . . Here was one instead whom she could follow, a god indeed and a man as well — a god become human, and a man because so divine.”
But Felsenburgh didn’t remain the man of peace he at first seemed. He took brutal steps to crush faithful Catholics. He imposed compulsory worship — worship of Man, not God. The Christian festivals were replaced by festivals celebrating the new humanistic religion, with an apostate Catholic priest placed in charge of the development of a suitable secular ritual.
Catholicism was the principal enemy, for it constituted the only great threat to a universal Religion of Man. It was, according to the Antichrist, high treason against Man, for it asserted a transcendent supernatural authority — God. So it must be removed from the world.
The turning point for Mabel was the passing of a law that everyone will be questioned as to whether they believe in God, and will be put to death if they confess that they do. She was unable to accept the apparently logical consequences of the secular humanism with which she had been indoctrinated, yet was unable to refute it. She assumed it was true, yet found it revolting.
She saw only one solution, for life had become unlivable. Euthanasia was legal and was widely practiced (the Release Act had been passed in the year 1998), and she found it preferable to the Religion of Man that Felsenburgh the Antichrist offered. “It was her belief, as of the whole Humanitarian world, that just as bodily pain occasionally justified the termination of life, so also did mental pain.” Euthanasia could be “the most charitable act that could be performed.”
Comparing the current Western world with Benson’s picture, we find in both a dominant materialism hostile to Christianity. There is a difference in the way people have reacted: In Benson’s scenario most felt a deep need for the spiritual but tried to achieve it by deifying man, whereas now most people without religion seem content to live without the spiritual.
Perhaps that’s not altogether accurate, though. The occult and witchcraft have plenty of followers, and many consult their horoscopes. And we have the extreme environmentalists and their latest fad of global warming, which has become a pseudo-religion for many.
Brian Clowes makes very pertinent comments on this in his excellent article in The Wanderer of October 31, p. 7b. To quote him: “This faith has a god (Gaia, the Mother Earth, etc.), a pope (Al Gore), a priesthood with religious orders (PETA, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and others), dogmas that must not be questioned (population control and global warming), rituals (recycling and Chevy Volts), feast days (Earth Day celebrations), sacraments (sterilization and abortion), and even indulgences for ‘sins’ such as driving a big SUV (carbon offsets).”
There is this difference: In Benson’s novel Man is glorified; in the secular religion of our world he is more often viewed as a parasite: No longer seen as the image and likeness of God, he has become a menace to the pure earth of Gaia.
In both Benson’s future world and our own time Catholicism is perceived as the great enemy, the force that must be destroyed if the new religion is to prevail.
Many are like Mabel: trapped in materialism and yearning for something nobler, yet blocked from the truth by presuppositions. There is a challenge for us here: to convey the truth to them in a way they can understand.
In Mabel’s case the apostate priest Fr. Francis had outlined Catholic beliefs to her, and tried to present them fairly. But he had lost the faith, and as a result his explanations lacked life and warmth, and did not address her difficulties. So they left her cold and confused.
Another Francis has been giving advice recently about how to evangelize: Pope Francis. He has emphasized the need for a living relationship with Jesus Christ, who is Truth Incarnate, and through that relationship to convey the Christian truths that have transformed our lives. Believers need to both know and love the faith, and to know and love and sympathize with the many Mabels of today.

+    +    +

(John Young is a graduate of the Aquinas Academy in Sydney, Australia, and has taught philosophy in four seminaries. His book The Scope of Philosophy was published by Gracewing Publishers in England in 2010. He has been a frequent contributor to The Wanderer on theological issues since 1977.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading

‘Justice has been served’ – Bishop Conley on why he invited Bishop Finn to Lincoln

Lincoln, Neb., Feb 5, 2016 / 11:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln defended his decision to allow Bishop Robert Finn, former bishop of Kansas City, Mo., to take a position as chaplain of a community of…Continue Reading

Marco Rubio, David Daleiden; Chi-Town priest ‘outs’ himself

The young investigative journalist and pro-life activist David Daleiden – whom GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio recently defended – will present himself before Judge Brock Thomas in Houston on February 4. Peter Breen, special counsel for the Thomas More Society,…Continue Reading

Catholic Italy mobilises as conservatives mount last stand against same-sex unions

It has been 2,000 years since Romans gathered at the Circus Maximus to watch chariots roar around the racetrack, but a new battle was brought to the ancient site on Saturday . Clutching banners reading “We defend our children” and…Continue Reading

New documents prove Planned Parenthood profited from selling aborted body parts: pro-life group

HOUSTON, January 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-life organization has released documents that may show Planned Parenthood illegally profited from the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, furthering a Texas state investigation and possibly triggering a new grand jury in…Continue Reading

TRUMP’S SPOKESWOMAN MUST APOLOGIZE

Bill Donohue comments on a remark made by Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson: On December 18, 2011, Katrina Pierson sent the following tweet: “Just saw a commercial from Catholic Church stating that Catholic Church

Faithful Catholic Education Offers Understanding of True Freedom, Says Archbishop Lucas

Catholic education prepares students to live a life of faith, but also offers students a true understanding of God-given freedom in an environment in which they can grow in virtue, said Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb.,…Continue Reading

NFL star who refused to meet Obama over abortion gives powerful talk at March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – All the speakers at the 2016 March for Life play a pivotal role – but only one was regularly called an MVP. Matt Birk, the former center for the Minnesota Vikings and the…Continue Reading

2016 March for Life heats up blizzard-stricken Washington (PHOTOS)

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The blizzard snows are falling on the nation’s capital, layering the city in a blanket of frost that could be two to three feet thick by tomorrow morning. But for awhile this afternoon,…Continue Reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders

Half of all four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. are within five miles of Planned Parenthood facilities, a study by The Cardinal Newman Society has found. Catholic pro-life leaders warn that the close proximity of these Planned Parenthood centers…Continue Reading

81 percent of Americans support dramatically stronger pro-life reforms: Poll

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – An overwhelmingly majority – including two-thirds of self-described “pro-choice” Americans – would support greatly strengthening laws that protect the unborn, according to a new poll released this morning. In all, 81 percent of…Continue Reading

New initiative aims to make Catholic men ‘watchmen’

For years, Chad Crow has attended the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ annual conference for men. And the father of four, who is a parishioner at Transfiguration in Oakdale, said that he and other men who attend the conference…Continue Reading

Vatican Parishes Are Now Welcoming Refugees

Diocese of Rome Responds to Holy Father’s September Invitation for Parishes to Host a Family of Refugees January 15, 2016  By ZENIT Staff Responding to Pope Francis’ appeal this September, Vatican parishes have begun welcoming refugee families. In his Sept.…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope’s Angelus reflection: Trust in the word of the Lord

(Vatican Radio) Do not be afraid but trust in the word of the Lord: that was Pope Francis message to the crowds gathered in a windswept St Peter’s Square on Sunday for the recitation of the Angelus prayer. The Pope based his reflections on the Gospel reading which tells the story of Jesus calling his first disciples by Lake Galilee. After fishing all night without a catch, they are washing their nets when Jesus gets…Continue Reading

Christie and Bush attack Cruz, Rubio for being too pro-life

Fr. Mark Hodges WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers across the nation are scratching their heads and saying, “With friends like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, who needs enemies?” Their frustration comes from both Christie and Bush attacking other presidential candidates as unelectable because they are pro-life without compromise. This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie attacked Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio for not favoring aborting children conceived in…Continue Reading

INTERVIEW: Padre Pio In Rome: Saints as Living Icons of Divine Mercy

Stefano Campanella, Director of Padre Pio TV and Author of Publications on the Friar of Pietrelcina, Reflects on Significance of the Historic Transfer •February 4, 2016•Osvaldo Rinaldi• Stefano Campanella, born in 1964 in Putignano, Italy, lives with his family at San Giovanni Rotondo. He has been a parliamentary journalist and Vatican expert. Currently, he serves as director of Padre Pio TV and heads the press office of the religious province of Sant’Angelo and Padre Pio…Continue Reading

Pope: The Faith is the greatest inheritance we can leave

(Vatican Radio) The most beautiful inheritance we can leave to others is the Faith: that was Pope Francis’ message during Holy Mass on Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, he invited us to not fear death, because the course of life continues. Thinking about death illuminates life The day’s first reading tells the story of the death of King David. “In every life there is an ending,” the Pope said. This…Continue Reading

The Pope: consecrated life must be close to the people

pope301

Vatican City, 2 February 2016 (VIS) – The following are extensive extracts of the Holy Father’s extemporaneous address to the participants in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, which took place yesterday in the Paul VI Hall. This afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica he will celebrate the Mass to conclude the Year of Consecrated Life. “I have prepared a text for this occasion regarding the themes of consecrated life and three of its most important pillars:…Continue Reading

Blessed José Sanchez Del Rio… Miraculous Cure Of A Baby Leads To His Sainthood

MEXICO CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The miraculous cure of a baby with brain damage through the intercession of Mexican martyr Blessed José Luis Sanchez del Rio has been approved by the Vatican, completing the final step for the teen’s path to sainthood. Pope Francis signed the decree January 21, verifying the inexplicable recovery of a…Continue Reading

Begging For Mercy

By DONALD DeMARCO When we do not hear another person’s words correctly we say, “I beg your pardon.” A moderator appears on stage and apologizes for a momentary inconvenience by saying to the audience, “I beg your indulgence.” These words flow easily from our lips, usually without much reflection. They have become automatic responses, polite…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How Dissenters Attack The ‘Holiness’ Of The Church”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The New Literalism And Fundamentalism

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Sources, Methods, And Lives

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This has not been a good week for Hillary Clinton. She prevailed over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses by less than four tenths of one percent of all votes cast, after having led him in polls in Iowa at one time by 40 percentage points. In…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Jesus Gave Witness In The Public Square

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Seems to me that Jesus wants us to love our neighbors and leave the judging up to Him.” This is a typical response of many people when they encounter the Church and her members witnessing to their faith by speaking out on moral teachings in the public square. Christian witness in a visible, public way…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Hostility Against The Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 40 Fourth objection: Why do so many people have hostility to the Catholic Church? Reply: Why was Jesus the object of hostility from so many people? In simple terms, the Pharisees may have refused Him as they could not accept His doctrine and felt threatened by His power to perform miracles. The Sadducees may…Continue Reading

Life Everlasting — The Particular Judgment

By DON FIER In concluding our examination of the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on article 11 of the Creed, we saw that in order “to rise with Christ, we must die with Christ” (CCC, n. 1005). Death, with all the mystery which surrounds this common fate of all mankind, is the gateway to everlasting life.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I know that in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are supposed to practice more fervently the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Most of these are fairly easy to understand, but I wonder about the one that says we are to “admonish the sinner.” How can one do that without judging another person, which we’re not supposed to…Continue Reading

One Truth, One Lord, One God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Lent (YR C) Readings: Deut. 26:4-10 Romans 10:8-13 Luke 4:1-13 In the Gospel reading today we hear about Satan tempting our Lord. In the third temptation the Devil offers all of the kingdoms of the Earth to Jesus if He would just bow down and worship the tempter. In response, our Lord quotes…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Miguel Febres Cordero Munoz

By CAROLE BRESLIN There have been many saints born in Europe who came to the Americas to convert the natives and work among immigrants. These included St. Isaac Jogues, St. Frances Cabrini, and St. Damien of Molokai, to name a few. There were few saints who were born in the Americas and then went to Europe and died there far…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church observes the Church Unity Octave from January 18 through January 25. For each day of the octave, we pray for a different form of unity. For example, on January 18, the intention is for the return of separated Eastern Christians to communion with the Holy See. Another day the intention is for the restoration…Continue Reading