Saturday 4th December 2021

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

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  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 150 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

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Fr. Altman torches bishops

BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) – A fiery persecuted priest is calling U.S. bishops to account for corruption and abuse within the Catholic Church. Wisconsin priest Fr. James Altman sent a scorching message to Catholic prelates today at Church Militant’s “Bishops: Enough Is Enough” prayer rally in Baltimore. The rally is within throwing distance of the location of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall meeting.

Is It Impossible?

Cindy Paslawski      The media pundits were off and running at the mouth and pen about the US Bishops who are holding their annual fall meeting. In all their theological expertise, writers from Savannah to Los Angeles were proclaiming that Joe Biden should not be forbidden to receive the Holy Eucharist.      I do not recall a Bishop telling members of the secular media what to write, so where do these media theological “experts” get…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishop Slams Biden for Supporting Abortion: “63 Million Babies Have Been Murdered. It’s a Bloodbath”

Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone called out President Joe Biden this week for supporting the abortion “bloodbath” that has destroyed nearly 63 million unborn babies’ lives in the United States. The San Francisco archbishop has been outspoken in his criticism of political leaders like Biden who profess to be Catholic while openly advocating for the killing of unborn babies in abortions. In a new interview with America Magazine, Cordileone pointed out that Biden no longer even claims…Continue Reading

Barrett and Kavanaugh Supply Majority to Deny Religious-Liberty Claim on Vaccine Mandate

Late Friday, Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court’s three progressives in denying a preliminary injunction to a group of medical professionals who sought to be exempted from Maine’s vaccine mandate because of their religious convictions. Justice Neil Gorsuch filed a compelling dissent in the case, John Does 1-3 v. Mills, joined by his fellow conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Sa

Catholic Politicians and Non-Admittance to Holy Communion

Praised be Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, For the past several months, the intention of the Church in the United States of America has been very much in my prayers. At their coming November meeting, the Bishops of the United States will be considering the application of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others…Continue Reading

Return Of The “Law And Order” Issue

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN According to Gallup, on the issue of crime, President Joe Biden is 18 points underwater. While 57 percent of Americans disapprove of how he is handling crime, only 39 percent approve.Biden’s dismal rating was recorded before the verdict came in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial — not guilty on all five counts…Continue Reading

n New Book… Cardinal Sarah Calls Catholic Priests To Spiritual Renewal

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS ROME (CNA) — In a new book, Robert Cardinal Sarah calls priests to spiritual renewal, saying that it will not come through structural changes, but through rediscovering the priest’s mission and identity as the presence of Christ in the world.“Christ never created structures. Of course, I’m not saying they aren’t necessary. Organization…Continue Reading

City Of Philadelphia . . . To Pay $2 Million To Catholic Foster Care Agency In Settlement

By CHRISTINE ROUSSELLE PHILADELPHIA (CNA) — The city of Philadelphia will pay Catholic Social Services a $2 million settlement and reinstate their foster care contract after the Supreme Court unanimously found in June that the city had discriminated against the group due to their religious beliefs.Most of the money will be used to pay Catholic…Continue Reading

This Season . . . Thank Private Property

By JOHN STOSSEL Happy Thanksgiving!But beware the “tragedy of the commons.” It almost killed off the pilgrims.Now, via Washington, D.C., it’s probably coming for us.Tragedy of the commons is a concept from an essay by ecologist Garrett Hardin. He wrote how cattle ranchers sharing a common parcel of land soon destroy that land. That’s because…Continue Reading

Biden’s War On Religious Liberty Spikes

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented November 18 at catholicleague.org on the latest attacks on religious liberty.) + + Never has religious liberty been more seriously threatened than it is today. That the man responsible for this all-out assault professes to be a Catholic is all the more offensive. It…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Attending parochial school in the 1950s, we read about Fr. Miguel Pro, who was martyred during the Mexican Revolution. We learned that the revolution was led by the Communists. However, now it seems that it was led by the Masons. Which one was it? Or was it both? — R.K., via e-mail.A. A priest-friend of ours who is from…Continue Reading

Chaos In Firm Control Of U.S. Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I am currently working my way through a sociological and psychological work entitled The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. In this academic pursuit of over 400 pages, a Christian professor by the name of Carl R. Trueman attempts to explain, among other things, why so many people are no longer Christian. Or, rather,…Continue Reading

Four Common Tactics Of The Devil

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: This essay on the Devil’s tactics first appeared on Msgr. Pope’s blog and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + On recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in demonic possession. Movies and books, along with human fears and fascinations, are largely the cause. Although actual demonic possession is somewhat rare,…Continue Reading

A Spiritual Exile

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR C) Readings: Baruch 5:1-9Phil. 1:4-6, 8-11Luke 3:1-6 In the readings today, we hear the same basic message from three different sources. The words of the Prophet Isaiah are applied to St. John the Baptist regarding his purpose and his message: “Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill made…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Kudos to Catholic League President Bill Donohue on his new book The Truth About Clergy Sexual Abuse (available at Ignatius.com). In a statement, Donohue says that his book demonstrates that “the sexual abuse scandal effectively ended decades ago.” This is confirmed, he said, “by the 2020 Annual Report on clergy sexual abuse published by the National Review Board…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Damien Of Molokai

By DEB PIROCH Born the seventh child to Belgian farming parents, young Joseph de Veuster — later St. Damien — was first called to the priesthood after a mission given by the Redemptorists in 1858, when he was 18. Having been told to stop school because he was needed on the home farm, Joseph, like his two older sisters and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Castello

By DEB PIROCH “Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:44-45).The other famous biblical reference to pearls is in The Gospel According to St. Matthew. Christ says: “Give not that which…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)