Saturday, 11 May 2013
Heralds of the Second Coming
I've just finished reading Stephen Walford's excellent new book Heralds of the Second Coming. The main focus of Walford's unique work is to sift through and collect together various important papal documents which reveal the eschatological thought of the popes of the modern era. In doing so, it provides the reader with an insight into the end-times theology of the select few people who are not only the most authoritative on this subject, but also the best informed - the successors of St. Peter. Heralds of the Second Coming branches out into several other areas of relevance to this subject, such as the apocalyptic literature of the Bible, and a choice number of Church-approved private revelations. This detailed exposition of the eschatological thought of contemporary Church leaders highlights the urgency in which this matter is held, calling on all of us to be "watchmen of the new dawn".
A great strength of this book is that it roots itself firmly within the bounds of orthodox Catholic theology, and completely eschews any millenarian tendencies. In doing so, it plots an eschatological trajectory almost identical to the future timeline outlaid in my own work on this subject, making it a perfect accompaniment to Unveiling the Apocalypse. Especially given Walford's belief that the wars of the 20th century are identical with Jesus' prophecy in the Olivet discourse, concerning the "wars and rumours of wars" that must precede His final coming. By outlining the fact that the popes of war-torn Europe expressed this very same opinion in several papal documents, Heralds of the Second Coming provides an independent testimony to the importance of the horrors of the 20th century in relation to this closing chapter of the history of salvation.
This is an essential resource for any serious student of Catholic eschatology, and a book that I will be referring back to time and again.
Stephen Walford has also started a highly informative blog, which can be found at his website http://divinemercypopes.com/, and readers of the comments section will recognise his contribution here under the username Rachmaninov.