This book although written on the turn from the 19th to 20th Centuries, is a masterful blend of originality and being prophetic, especially now livingThis book although written on the turn from the 19th to 20th Centuries, is a masterful blend of originality and being prophetic, especially now living in the age of the 21st Century where this book is supposedly meant to take place.
The writing itself, keeps the person in their seat wanting to read more, the book seems to follow in a manner of blips of time, some shorter than others from chapter to chapter (however no chapter is longer than a year from the previous chapter), and in stroke of simplicity one can't help but read and develop a sort of attachment to the characters, or at least see oneself a little bit in everyone, some more than others.
I read this book to consider the overlaps, as I look upon the State of the Church and Society now, I wanted to take the opportunity to share those:
(1) The Rise of Esoteric Societies, in this book it is under the umbrella of Freemasonry and how Anti-Christ will emerge from the Masonic sect, however since Masonry is an Esoteric Society, it is analogous to the Rise of the Occult in our own times, perhaps at a future in the real world Masonry will roll itself out to prepare the way for the son of perdition.
(2) The Fallout From An Ecumenical Council, now while I grant that Vatican II was meant to be a Pastoral Council many within the Catholic World treat it as a Super-Council and so treat it with the force of an Ecumenical Council, analogously we are dealing with many issues within the Church on all levels and fronts even to the point of Prelates being against Prelates, I should say even the tempting of the elect spoken of in the Book of Revelation, and so the Decline of the Influence of the Catholic Religion.
(3) The Rise of The Religion of Humanity, we live in a world now wherein Secular Humanism is on the rise, the State is worshiped as God; if one is not a secularist, than that's okay because the book mentions the rise of radical Islam through Sufism, as well as that new age and oriental philosophy of Pantheism, either way the Mass Apostasy in the book is visible certainly in our own day.
(4) The Rise of Euthanasia, the author of the book directly and negatively correlated the rise of mercy-killing with the decline of the Faith. As we look out at our culture, analogously Pope St. John Paul II defined it as the "The Culture of Death" which is on the rise.
(5) The Rise of Superbloc Nations, inevitably there was greater centralization across the whole of nations throughout the world, and somewhere along the way nationalism died out and became regionalism which lead to an international one world order, with the Anti-Christ to be declared as Supreme President of the World, that's right President, totally supported by the will of the people.
(6) The Rise of A Consequentialist, Self-Loving, and Social Darwinist Ethos, gone are the days of Christ's morality, yet Christ's words are used to justify the Anti-Christ's Agenda and Religion of Humanity, analogously, how many people do we see today who are using Christ's words to justify things He would be opposed to (ie. gay marriage, abortion, radical feminism, Liberalism in all its types, etc...)?
The nature of Anti-Christ, according to this book is to rule over us through what we love (much like that other dystopic novel "Brave New World" one could say that reading Brave New World is like the same story within this story and without the awareness of God) and that the world will fall into the madness of falling at the heels of a global cult leader, someone who Masterfully blends Personality with Intellect, for the service of Himself and society but usurping that service due to God, the book does a wonderful job of showing his influence on the whole world, even though throughout most of the book he has very little dialogue to speak of.
While we may never know the day and the hour of the end of the world, we do know one thing most of all, and this book helps to illustrate that, "If this is not the end of world, then this is how it will look like; however the end of the world will simply be this situation but amplified." The book shows the increasing levels of persecution taking place against Christians in the book, this is why one should read it, what we are going through right now, if trends do not stop, foretell what will go down as the prophetic nature of this book shows....more
This book is less suspicious than The Art of Worldly Wisdom. I enjoy this book, it utilizes history and fables to convey deeper truths about attainingThis book is less suspicious than The Art of Worldly Wisdom. I enjoy this book, it utilizes history and fables to convey deeper truths about attaining Greatness as a person, it taps into the Prudence of his aphorism found in The Art of Worldly Wisdom but not excessively so. This book is something to read to its entirety but just because you read it once entirely it does not mean one is done reading it rather people will refer to this again and again. At the end of the day, this quote from the book I think crystallizes Fr. Baltasar Gracian's thoughts behind writing A Pocket Mirror for Heroes as well as The Art of Worldly Wisdom:
"This aphorism doesn't bid the prudent to be cynical, but to be intelligent and observant. It advises them neither to censure everything-for this would be an abominable and moody lack of moderation-nor to applaud everything, which is pedantry."
One could read Machiavelli's works and speculate that he wants the read to become fearful, manipulative, and cynical toward his neighbor but with Fr. Baltasar Gracian one does not get the sense of fearfully focusing on ones neighbor but on intelligently or even mindfully focusing oneself as they live in the world....more