|Virgin and Unicorn, by Domenichino|
A recent interview with Cdl. Raymond Burke has been making the rounds, in which he imagines what he would do as pope (make a clear profession of faith) and also gives his thoughts on the end times.
So there is a feeling that in today’s world that is based on secularism with a completely anthropocentric approach, by which we think we can create our own meaning of life and meaning of the family and so on, the Church itself seems to be confused. In that sense one may have the feeling that the Church gives the appearance of being unwilling to obey the mandates of Our Lord. Then perhaps we have arrived at the End Times.Another century, another mass-feeling of apocalyptic doom? Perhaps, but who can say for sure? There will be at least one generation whose personal ends will all coincide with the final End, and it would be presumptuous to think it could not possibly be ours. The world’s last night will eventually fall, whether we are ready or not.
Our Lord’s first coming ended part of the world, the old Mosaic covenant, but also brought with it unimaginable hope and joy. His second coming will end the whole world, but also bring with it eternal bliss for his people.
The allegory of the Virgin and the Unicorn represents the Incarnation of the Word, the mythical beast being driven by the hounds of mercy and justice to the lap of a chaste maid. In some renditions of the allegory the angel Gabriel blows his horn as a hunter, much like the trump St. Paul says will blow at the final hour (I Cor. 15, I Thess. 4). Many spiritual writers have observed that the office of Mercy has been given to Mary, just as the dispensing of Justice has been given from the Father to the Son. The workings of the eschaton are still mysterious to us, but surely the Woman Clothed in the Sun will play a large part, just as she did two-thousand years ago.
“Take ye heed, watch and pray, for you know not when the lord of the house cometh.”