“In that fine book of his, Le Docteur Angelique, J. Maritain has set down this profound reflection: “How to reconcile two apparently contradictory facts: the fact that modern history appears to be, as Berdyaev says, on the threshold of a new Middle Age in which the unity and universality of Christian culture will be recovered and extended this time to the whole universe, and the fact that the general trend of civilization seems to be toward the universalism of Antichrist and his iron rod rather than toward the universalism of Christ and His emancipatory law, and in any event to forbid the hope of a unification of the world in one universal Christian empire.
As far as I am concerned, my answer is as follows: I think that two immanent tendencies intersect at every point in the history of the world…one tendency draws upward everything in the world which participates in the divine life of the Church, which is in the world but not of the world, and follows the attraction of Christ the head of the human race.
The other tendency draws downward everything in the world which belongs to the prince of the world…History suffers these two internal strains as it moves forward in time, and human affairs are so subjected to a distension of increasing force until the fabric in the end gives way. So the cockle grows up along with the wheat; the capital of sin increases throughout the whole course of history and the capital of grace increases also and superabounds. Christian heroism will one day become the sole solution for the problem of life…Then we shall doubtless see coincident with the worst condition in human history a flowering of sanctity.’”
Garrigou-Lagrange quotes this in a footnote.
This is one of the finest descriptions of the time of the Antichrist, which is coming soon. Those who choose the universalism, that is a worldwide peace and supposed harmony, (based on a man and not a peace based on Christ), which will be actively against the universalism of the Church, and the type of unity the human race should be going toward, will be lost. Some think that Freemasonry fills the definition of a false brotherhood, a false universalism, while others just see this as a type of secularism.
Secularism is not strong enough to bring about a universal government. There are too many factions, despite these factions being joined under the heresy of Modernism. The only universalism which can rival, supposedly, the authority of the Church, would be a demonic universalism, which one could label a false religion, an idolatry of supposed good.
Ironically, the Church will look as if She has failed, perhaps only a very small minority of people holding forth the Faith. Those who remain faithful to Christ and His Church will be persecuted because they will refuse the “perks” of the Antichrist. And, the Antichrist will demand perfect obedience and even adulation.
The desires to want peace at any price, to want to keep what one has, to want security outside of God, will lead many Catholics astray. They will choose material comfort for their souls, not understanding what they are doing, because they have squelched their discernment.
Discernment comes with purgation of one’s sins and one’s predominant fault. Illumination comes when one allows God to be God completely in one’s life.
Sadly, even now, people are wanting peace at any price. Even Catholics….
To have confidence in God despite horrible trials means that one has to be spiritually prepared for such.
Garrigou-Lagrange in another footnote, quotes some words of Mother Elizabeth of the Cross, from her books of seven retreats to her nuns at the Carmelite Convent of Fountainbleau. This one sentence reveals how we can withstand the lies of the Antichrist.
“You I have invited to share in the folly of the cross, to refuse to be bound to earth by a single thread….to follow Me through pain, insults, and ignominy…to be My spouse crucified until death.”
In other words, we have to be free from all desires and stuff, wanting only Christ and His Kingdom.