WHY did Judas commit suicide? That is, why did he not reap his sin of betrayal in another form, such as being beaten and robbed of his silver by thieves or being slain on the roadside by a mob of Roman soldiers? Instead, the fruit of Judas’ sin was suicide. On the surface, it appears as if he was simply a man driven to despair. But there is something far deeper in his ungodly death that speaks to our day, serving, in fact, as a warning.
It is the Judas prophecy.
Both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus in their own way. Both of them represent that ever-present spirit of rebellion within and without man, and an inclination toward sin we call concupiscence that is a fruit of our fallen nature. Both men sinned gravely bringing them to the point of either of two paths: the path of repentance or the path of despair. Both were tempted to the latter, but in the end, Peter humbled himself and chose the path of repentance, which is the path of mercy opened by Christ’s death and resurrection. On the other hand, Judas hardened his heart toward Him whom He knew to be Mercy itself, and in pride, followed the path that leads to utter despair: the path of self-destruction.
In these men, we see a reflection of our present world that itself has come to such a fork in the road—to choose either the path of life or the path of death. On the surface, it sounds like an obvious choice. But it’s obviously not, for—whether people realize it or not—the world is plunging toward its own demise, say the popes…
LIAR AND A MURDERER
No civilization in their right minds would ever choose to self-destruct. And yet, here we are in 2012 watching the Western world contracept itself out of existence, abort its future, vigorously debate the legalization of “mercy killing”, and impose these policies of “reproductive health care” upon the rest of the world (in exchange for receiving aid money). And yet, brothers and sisters, many in our Western culture view this as “progress” and a “right,” even though our populations are aging and—save for immigration—rapidly shrinking. We are virtually committing “suicide”. How can this be seen as a good? Easy. For those who wish to dominate, or for some pantheists, or those who hold humankind in contempt, a reduction in population, however it comes, is a welcome change.
The bottom line is that they are deceived.
Jesus described Satan in some very precise terms:
He was a murderer from the beginning… he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Satan lies and deceives so as to draw souls, and eventually societies, into his snare where they can then be destroyed, both spiritually and physically. He does so by making that which is an evil appear as a good. Satan said to Eve:
You certainly will not die! God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil. (Gen 3:4-5)
Satan suggests that it is not necessary to trust God—that one can design the future through one’s own intellectual prowess and “wisdom” apart from God. Like Adam and Eve, our generation is being tempted to “be like gods”, especially through technology. But technology that is unguided by a proper moral ethic is the forbidden fruit, especially when it is used to destroy or alter life from its original plan.
Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard, the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 58
The Roman Empire was a flourishing, liberal society that through corruption and immorality caved in upon itself. Pope Benedict compared our times to that fallen empire, pointing toward a world that has lost its consensus on the most essential values such as the inviolable right to life of every human being and the unchangeable institution of marriage.
Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk… In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010
There is a noose around the world’s neck…
VERY GOOD LIES
After 1500 years of Christianity, the Church’s influence, which had transformed nations throughout Europe and beyond, was beginning to wane. Internal corruption, abuse of political power, and schism had greatly weakened her credibility. And thus, Satan, that ancient serpent, saw an opportunity to apply his poison. He did so by sowing philosophical lies that began what is called, ironically, the “Enlightenment” period. Over the course of the next few centuries, a world-view developed that placed intellectuality and science above faith. During the Enlightenment, such philosophies arose as:
Deism: There is a God… but he left mankind to work out his own future and laws.
Scientism: proponents refuse to accept anything that cannot be observed, measured, or experimented upon.
Rationalism: the belief that the only truths we can know with certainty are gained through reason alone.
Materialism: the belief that the only reality is the material universe.
Evolutionism: the belief that the evolutionary chain can be completely explained by random biological processes, excluding the need for God or God as its cause.
Utilitarianism: the ideology that actions are justified if they are useful or a benefit for the majority.
Psychologism: the tendency to interpret events in subjective terms, or to exaggerate the relevance of psychological factors.
Atheism: the theory or belief that God does not exist.
Nearly everyone believed in the existence of God 400 years ago. But four centuries later today, in the wake of that great historical confrontation between these philosophies and the Gospel, the world is giving way to atheism and Marxism, which is atheism’s pragmatic application.
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through… We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. —Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (JOHN PAUL II), at the Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, PA; August 13, 1976
Faith and reason are seen as incompatible. The human person is taught, and thus perceived, as merely an evolutionary product along with all the other by-products of a random universe. And hence, man is increasingly viewed as having no more dignity than a whale or a tree, and even seen as an imposition upon creation itself. A person’s worth today no longer lies in the fact that he is created in God’s image, but is measured in how small his “carbon footprint” is. And thus, wrote Blessed John Paul II:
With tragic consequences, a long historical process is reaching a turning-point. The process which once led to discovering the idea of “human rights”—rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State legislation—is today marked by a surprising contradiction… the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death… This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people—even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the “right” ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 18, 20
Thus, we have arrived at this period in time where the lies of Satan, speciously hidden beneath a twisted logic void of an authentic ethic, are being exposed for what they are: a gospel of death, a cultural philosophy that is in fact a gaping noose. Within just the past half century or so, we have created technological weapons capable of annihilating nations; we have entered into two world wars; we have legalized infanticide in the womb; we have polluted and raped creation causing an unknown number of illnesses; we have injected carcinogenic and harmful chemicals into our food, land, and water; we have played with the genetic building blocks of life as if they are toys; and now we are openly debating the elimination of the unhealthy, depressed, or aged through “mercy killing.” Wrote Madonna House foundress Catherine de Hueck Doherty to Thomas Merton:
For some reason I think you are weary. I know I am frightened and weary too. For the face of the Prince of Darkness is becoming clearer and clearer to me. It seems he does not care any more to remain “the great anonymous one,” the “incognito,” the “everyone.” He seems to have come into his own and shows himself in all his tragic reality. So few believe in his existence that he does not need to hide himself anymore! —Compassionate Fire, The Letters of Thomas Merton and Catherine de Hueck Doherty, March 17th, 1962, Ave Maria Press (2009), p. 60.
THE HEART OF IT
The heart of this crisis is spiritual. It is an arrogance whereby the proud wish to dominate and control the weak.
This [culture of death] is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency. Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured, tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of “conspiracy against life” is unleashed. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 12
The conspiracy is ultimately, again, satanic, for it is drawing entire classes of people into the jaws of the Dragon.
This struggle parallels the apocalyptic combat described in [Rev 11:19 - 12:1-6]. Death battles against Life: a “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full… Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to “create” opinion and impose it on others… In our own century, as in no other time in history, the culture of death has assumed a social and institutional form of legality to justify the most horrible crimes against humanity: genocide. “final solutions”, “ethnic cleansings” and the massive taking of lives of human beings even before they are born, or before they reach the natural point of death. The “dragon” (Rev 12:3), the “ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31) and the “father of lies” (Jn 8:44), relentlessly tries to eradicate from human hearts the sense of gratitude and respect for the original extraordinary and fundamental gift of God: human life itself. Today that struggle has become increasingly direct. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, 1993
For if we are just a product of evolution, why not help the process along? After all, the population is too large, so say the controlling powers of our day. Ted Turner, founder of CNN, once said the world’s population should be reduced to 500 million. Prince Phillip remarked that, if he were to be reincarnated, he would want to come back as a killer virus.
The Pharaoh of old, haunted by the presence and increase of the children of Israel, submitted them to every kind of oppression and ordered that every male child born of the Hebrew women was to be killed (cf. Ex 1:7-22). Today not a few of the powerful of the earth act in the same way. They too are haunted by the current demographic growth… Consequently, rather than wishing to face and solve these serious problems with respect for the dignity of individuals and families and for every person’s inviolable right to life, they prefer to promote and impose by whatever means a massive programme of birth control. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 16
This godless mentality, in fact, is the very deception that the Catechism ties to the activity of the Antichrist who comes to create a better world than the one God made. A world where creation is genetically modified—”improved” over what has existed for millennia and where man himself is able to break beyond the boundaries of his nature into a poly-sexual being free from the incumbrance of moral strictures and monotheistic faith. It will be a false messianic hope to bring the world Back to Eden—but an Eden recreated in man’s own image:
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. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 676
This will lead to the ultimate fulfillment of the Judas Prophecy: a world where its own value has been so diminished that it will unwittingly adopt the rationality of despair in the form of euthanasia, population reduction, and genocide for “the good of the planet”—a world that finds no way out but the “noose”, so to speak. This in itself will produce more division and war between those nations that resist the cultural zeitgeist.
…without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could cause unprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family… humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n.33, 26
The new messianists, in seeking to transform mankind into a collective being disconnected from his Creator, will unknowingly bring about the destruction of the greater portion of mankind. They will unleash unprecedented horrors: famines, plagues, wars, and ultimately Divine Justice. In the beginning they will use coercion to further reduce population, and then if that fails they will use force. —Michael D. O’Brien, Globalization and the New World Order, March 17th, 2009
And thus, we see in Judas a prophetic symbol for our times: that the pursuit of a false kingdom, be it one’s own or a political edifice, leads to one’s own destruction. For St. Paul writes:
…in [Christ] all things hold together. (Col 1:17)
When God, who is love, is excluded from society, all things come apart.
Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), n. 28b
In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul wrote that “the love of money is the root of all evils.” The errant philosophies of the past are culminating today in an individualism whereby the culture promotes the ego and material gain, while discarding transcendent truths. This is leading, however, to a Great Vacuum that is being filled by despair and dysfunction. So it was with Judas who, facing the reality that he had exchanged the Messiah for a mere thirty pieces of silver, despaired. Rather than turning to Christ who is “rich in mercy,” Judas hanged himself.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? (Matt 16:25-26)
Is it a coincidence that as we embrace a “culture of death,” global suicide rates, particularly among youth, are rising, all the while as once Christian nations are rapidly abandoning the faith…?
LIGHT WILL CAST OUT THE DARKNESS
We cannot be deluded by a false hope, that somehow our world of comfort and convenience will continue as it is while these gross injustices prevail. Neither can we pretend that the direction developed countries continue to take the rest of the world in is of little consequence. “The future of the world is at stake,” said the Holy Father.
However, the genuine hope is this: it is Christ—not Satan—who is King of the heavens and earth. Satan is a creature, not a god. How much more, then, is the Antichrist limited in power:
Even the demons are checked by good angels lest they harm as much as they would. In like manner, Antichrist will not do as much harm as he would wish. —St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Q.113, Art. 4
Our Lady of Fatima, who warned that atheistic Marxism would spread throughout the world if Heaven’s call to repentance was not heeded, said:
…Russia will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.—Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va
The Church needs to prepare for difficult times. John Paul II, who said we are now “facing the final confrontation,” added that this is a trial that “lies within the plans of divine providence.” God is in charge. Thus, He will even use the Antichrist as an instrument of purification toward a triumphant period of peace.
Men’s anger will serve to praise you; its survivors surround you in joy. (Psalm 76:11)
The following is a “word” that came to an American priest who wishes to remain anonymous. His spiritual director, once a friend of St. Pio and spiritual director of Blessed Mother Theresa, discerned this word before it came to me. It is a summary of the Judas Prophecy coming to fulfillment in our times—and likewise, the triumph of Peter who turned from despair to Jesus’ mercy, and thus became a rock.
Have you considered that in the days when My Hand brought the Israelites out of Egypt from slavery that the people who lived at the time were highly industrialized , yet not civilized enough to recognize the dignity of the human person? What has changed I ask you? You also live in a time which is highly industrialized and yet extremely un-civil toward one another. How is it possible that man has evolved so as to create for himself and yet become darker in intellect as to his worth? Yes, this is the question: “How is it possible that you can become better at using the gifts of intellect to unlock the secrets of science and yet grow darker in your minds with regard to the sanctity of the human person?”
The answer is simple! All who fail to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord over mankind and all creation, fail to understand what God has done in the Person of Jesus Christ. Those who acknowledge Jesus Christ see in themselves what they see in Him. Human flesh has been Divinized and Deified, therefore, each person in his flesh is “Mystery” because He who is “Mystery” has shared His Divinity because He shares in your humanity. Those who follow Him as their Shepherd recognize the “Voice of Truth” , and thus are being taught and drawn into “His Mystery”. The goats on the other hand belong to another who teaches the de-humanization of each person. He desires to debase humanity as the lowest form of creation and thus mankind turns in on himself. The glorification of animals and the worship of creation is only the beginning, for Satan’s plan is to convince mankind that he must rid the planet of himself in order to save it. Do not be shocked by this, nor should you be afraid… for I Am with you to prepare you in order that when the time comes you will be ready to lead My people out of the darkness and snare of Satan’s plan into My Light and Kingdom of Peace! —given on February 27th, 2012