There's always been a soft spot in my heart for the Rapture, visualizing myself—as I float blissfully up into the clouds—giving the raspberries to those down below who have annoyed me my entire life.
However, beside the fact that the Catholic Church teaches that there will be no Rapture, there are a few unresolved subtleties that tend to burst my bubble, and I come plummeting back down to the ground.
YouTube is replete with videos by "watchers"—a fraternity of sort—who share their dreams and visions. Most rejoice that the Rapture is near and that they will be spared from the tribulation. Really? One even announced recently that she was informed that she is one of the two "witnesses" (prophesied to be Enoch and Elijah). Again, I say, "Really?" Now who is she talking to—or who is "talking" to her? And she was just all about that—believing every word of it.
How can anyone be certain that he or she has a "get out of tribulation free" card? This belief is rooted in pride, which, after all, is one of the seven deadly sins. Christ often spoke of the prideful Pharisees and the well-known beam in one's own eye. It's easy to be proud; humility, however, is a whole different animal.
Esteem not thyself better than others, lest, perhaps, thou be accounted worse in the sight of God, who knoweth what is in man. Be not proud of thine own good works; for the judgments of God are other than those of men; and what pleaseth men oftentimes displeaseth Him. If thou have any good in thee, believe still better things of others, that thou mayest preserve humility. It will do thee no harm to put thyself below everybody, but it will hurt thee very much to put thyself before any one. Continual peace dwelleth with the humble; but in the heart of the proud is frequent envy and indignation (1).
And one of my favorites:
The highest and most useful lesson we can learn is this: To know truly and to look down upon ourselves. To think nothing of ourselves and always to judge well and highly of others is great wisdom and high perfection. If thou shouldst see another openly do wrong or commit some grievous sins, thou needest not think thyself better; for thou knowest not how long thou mayest be able to persevere in well-doing. We are all frail; but see thou think no more frail than thyself (2).
Finally, he gives a warning to those who strive for humility:
The more thou knowest, and the better, so much the heavier will thy judgment therefore be, unless thy life be also more holy. Be not, then, lifted up for any skill or learning thou hast; but rather fear for the knowledge that is given thee. If it seem to thee that thou knowest many things, and understandest them well enough; know for all that, the things thou are ignorant of are still more. Be not high-minded, but rather acknowledge thine ignorance. Why wouldst thou prefer thyself to another, when there may be found many more learned and better versed in the Law than thou? (3).
You baby boomers out there who were raised in the True Church know about Purgatory. Anyone who's read the book "Purgatory" by Fr. F.X. Schouppe (not for the faint-hearted, by the way), knows that those who escape purgation altogether are few and far between. After a lifetime of praying for the poor souls in purgatory, it didn't make sense to me that some of us were going to get off scot-free.
THE FALSE RAPTURE
The attached picture of Bessie flying high up into the air, illustrates existing technology that can raise someone into the sky as if being Raptured. It is a screen shot from a YouTube video on the mysterious appearance of mutilated cows all over the Midwest. Apparently, ranchers are finding the corpses of their cows in the pasture with specific body parts missing.
This is not about mutilated cows, however. Rather, it is about plans to simulate the Rapture, most likely around the time that Blue Beam kicks into action with the false coming of Christ. All in all, it promises to be a spectacular performance to say the least!
Nonbelievers in the Rapture claim that many will flee to a place where they believe the Rapture is occurring. Instead, once risen up into the sky, they will be transported into spaceships filled with flesh-eating, blood-sucking aliens (demons). Ew.
WHEN DID ALL THE MADNESS START?
There is an interesting blog on the Internet about the Rapture that appears to have done its homework in regard to the Rapture's origin. (I neither endorse nor renounce its contents and merely present it for the reader's own discernment.) According to this blog—and many other like articles on the subject—the Rapture concept originated in the 1830s, in the mind of a delusional cultist who believed she was having a vision from God. Self-serving preachers picked up the Rapture ball and ran with it until it evolved into what, today, has become a global "doctrine" of sorts, stuffing the pockets of the likes of Hal Lindsey.
So we have yet another "time will tell" situation that will continue to be a source of contention and bible quoting until this whole thing is finally over. As for me, I don't believe that eternal life is handed to us on a silver platter. If that were the case, Christ would not have subjected Himself to the indescribable agony necessary for our salvation. Call me a party pooper, but I have to side with Our Lady of Fatima when she told the three children that "souls were falling into hell like snowflakes."
1. "The Imitation of Christ," Book 1, Chap. 7, p. 27.
2. Ibid., Chap. 2, p. 14.