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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not Rapturous

Since there is no such thing as the Rapture, I'm still here. Are you surprised?

I've always been quietly thrilled that as Catholics we do not believe in the Rapture. I do not find the Rapture rapturous.

This decade's crazy preacher (he was last decade's crazy preacher, too) posited that some 200 million "true believers" would be sucked out of their shoes last Saturday, because misguided Bible wavers love numbers. Exact numbers. You would think that someone who knew the Bible so well would appreciate one important fact: all numbers in the Bible are symbolic. Even the numbers that actually were the right number.

The Twelve Apostles. Yes, there were twelve. The "inner circle" of Jesus. There were twelve to represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  But Jesus traveled with quite a few more folks than that. Quite a few women were around, people that went with Him this way and not that way and then went with Him this way again. Jesus could have had three apostles or eleven, but He didn't.

And if He did, that number would also have been symbolic.  That's the way the Bible works.

But that's not the disturbing thing to me about the Rapture.  I am disturbed to the point of disgust at the idea that anyone would be so happy to be whizzed up to heaven because they are so righteous while many more millions suffer the Wrath of God.

I don't want anyone to suffer the Wrath of God. I'm sure they would tell you that they don't either, hence the warning billboards.  If I was a rapture believer, I would not be happily waiting my flight to Heaven, I would be mourning the fate of the rest of the world and the horrific suffering that was to come. I can't help but notice the sense of glee at the idea that they are chosen and others are not.  

So now, these believers are "disappointed" at best and "devastated" at worst. I would think they would be delighted to have more time to save more people! Thrilled! "Whew!" they should be saying, "Jesus wants many more people than 200 million with Him!  Let's roll up our sleeves and get back to work!" But they are disappointed and upset that hundreds of thousands of people across the globe were not destroyed in earthquakes, fires and floods.  They are sorry the ground didn't open up and swallow people into a fiery pit.  They are sorry that they are not taking tea with Jesus while the rest of us wail and gnash our teeth. And make no mistake, Catholics are not included with these righteous believers.  We don't believe right.

As we communicate here, there is a protest underway of righteous believers who want their money back, as though they bought a ticket on a flight that was canceled.  

Someone asked me my take on the Rapture last week.  Here's my take: it's sad and selfish.


Anonymous said...

Sister, I think you put it very well, as usual. Sad and selfish--that's probably most people's take on it, and I think that underlies the general note of mockery I've detected from most of the coverage.

Anonymous said...

I cna't help but wonder at those who quit their jobs, sold their goods to unbelievers or maxed out their credit cards thinking the end was coming soon. I agree, it is selfish.

Will you explain Rogation Days?

Crunchy Diva said...

i too wonder about those that quit their jobs & spent all their money what will they do now?

abandonedsouls said...

so many lost people in this world clinging to anything they hear, putting their faith in words that are not His words, the words of Jesus. if only they could put their faith in Him and not someone standing directly in front of them, someone who is actually blocking their path to the light.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful response, Sister! I shall pass this on to my children, who (thanks to a good Catholic school education) were rather bemused by this whole thing.

Tammy said...

God bless you. I am continuing to pray that these people who are disappointed find the peace that only God's love can provide. Wishing torment on anyone is not Christian.

Joy said...

I don't know the saint of the day, but it is World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. Which, I think fits in with what you wrote. I never considered the selfishness angle before -- the self-righteousness, yes, but not the selfishness. I just never thought the rapture idea made any sense based on what Jesus has said. I guess the "rapture people" are another group to pray for; that they lose their faith in false prophets BUT do not lose their faith in the Lord.

mph said...

I didn't know Catholics didn't beleive in this (not on 21st May in particular) but in general. What is Luke 17:20ish onwards referring to?

abishag said...

Maybe the rapture did happen, but only to those who were described by Jesus in the beatitudes - the poor, meek and humble die every day by the thousands. Would we notice if that number doubled?

CWrites said...

Very much smiling and smirking reading this. So happy I found your blog, Sister!

Suzanne said...

@abishag - what a beautiful thought! I think you're right about the untold numbers of those beloved by Jesus who die each and every day and surely are not forsaken or forgotten by God's infinite mercy. God doesn't wear a Timex, so who says He doesn't gather souls to Himself on a rolling basis vs. mankind's day-planner?

Bob said...

Here is a link to an audio from a spiritual group which is getting a lot of attention right now, they say that Humanity needs to know the truth. I really liked this part and felt special energies like never before : The Vatican was supposed to have released the 3rd Secret of Fatima 50 years ago. And so it is that if the 3rd Secret of Fatima had been released in 1960, along with the hidden documents about the True Jesus and the Old Testament that are stored in subterranean vaults underneath the Vatican, then life today would be far better for everyone on earth.
However, all of this was prophesized 900 years ago. Thus, I now expect that your time as pope will end within 13 months of the time of this audio recording. I expect the Rapture will occur around 6 months before this solar system is destroyed on December 21, 2012.


Silver Parnell said...

I read that Harold Camping's organization still has 72 million dollars in its coffers. Looks like he didn't believe his own predictions, otherwise, why not dispense all that money? Charlatan.

Laura said...

Bob: Jesus said only The Father knows the day and the hour, not the angels, not The Son... so what makes you think that you know better than them? Life WOULD be better if people stopped being so paranoid... I bet you my right arm that Dec 21 is NOT the day. Hope you don't get too disappointed when absolutely nothing hapens

Anonymous said...

[Hi Sister...Great blog. I found this item on the net. Andrew]

Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture !

Many assert that the "rapture" promoted by evangelicals was first taught, at least seminally, by a Jesuit Catholic priest named Francisco Ribera in his 16th century commentary on the book of Revelation.
To see what is claimed, Google "Francisco Ribera taught a rapture 45 days before the end of Antichrist's future reign."
After seeing this claim repeated endlessly on the internet without even one sentence from Ribera offered as proof, one widely known church historian decided to go over every page in Ribera's 640-page work published in Latin in 1593.
After laboriously searching for the Latin equivalent of "45 days" ("quadraginta quinque dies"), "rapture" ("raptu," "raptio," "rapiemur," etc.) and other related expressions, the same scholar revealed that he found absolutely nothing in Ribera's commentary to support the oft-repeated claim that Ribera taught a prior (45-day) rapture! (Since the same scholar plans to publish his complete findings, I am not at liberty to disclose his name.)
Are you curious about the real beginnings of this evangelical belief (a.k.a. the "pre-tribulation rapture") merchandised by Darby, Scofield, Lindsey, Falwell, LaHaye, Ice, Van Impe, Hagee and many others?
Google "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Walvoord Melts Ice," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Wily Jeffrey," "Deceiving and Being Deceived" by D.M., "The Real Manuel Lacunza," "Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism," "Pretrib Rapture Politics," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" - most of these by the author of the 300-page nonfiction book "The Rapture Plot," the highly endorsed and most accurate documentation on the long hidden historical facts of the 182-year-old pre-tribulation rapture theory imported from Britain during the late 19th century.