Saturday 23 March 2013

When Prophesies Come True

St. Columba (6th century).  "Hearken, hearken to what will happen in the latter days of the world!  There will be great wars~ unjust laws will be enacted~ the Church will be de­spoiled of her property; people will read and write a great deal~ but charity and humility will be laughed to scorn, and the common people will believe in false ideas." From Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont, page 13; Tan Publishing)

Of all of the prophecies I've ever read, the above from Saint Columba really sticks with me.  Most prophecies talk about war.  There have certainly been great wars in the last 100 years.  But everything else in this prophecy seems to be so specific to our times. 

Sure there have been unjust laws in the past as well.  But the laws associated with abortion and healthcare stand out in the sheer enormity of injustice.

The church has suffered the loss of property many times.  But has the church ever paid more than $1.2 billion in damages for abuse cases?  That is the figure for the United States.  It doesn't include anything since 2009, or from other countries.

It is the next line, " people will read and write a great deal~ but charity and humility will be laughed to scorn, and the common people will believe in false ideas,"  that really stands out.   And I say that after spending a day teaching young people to read and write.  

In our times, it is considered scandalous if someone cannot read and write.  CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reports, March 7, 2013, that a shocking nearly 80% of New York City high school graduates managed to graduate without having learned the basic skills of reading, writing, and Math.  What would have been considered normal in Saint Columba's time is now shocking.  But the entire notion of school for all would have been shocking for her.  She would have looked at our schools and seen them for the source of all of the false ideas common people believe in.

That charity and humility are a cause for scorn is also obvious.  Pope Francis is planning on celebrating Mass on Holy Thursday at a prison for young offenders.  Traditionalists are saying this may be taking the whole care-for-the-poor thing a bit too far.  Those on the left, who may have advocated for this kind of thing, bite their tongues rather than praise a man who is adamantly against gay marriage, abortion and women priests.  (Hint for everyone:  The Pope is Catholic.)

His obvious charity and humility is definitely attracting scorn.  But that's also been true of other Popes.

And so I return to the one piece of this prophecy that resonates for our age like no other:  People will read and write a great deal.  It is almost as if we are afraid to have an unexpressed thought.  Or maybe that's just me.


  1. The reason why young people in America do not read or write is complicated. I was a teacher most of my adult life, both in the UK and in the States. I was also a private curriculum consultant for five years and I still act in that capacity when asked.

    When I began to teach, there was not a crisis in literacy. Now, there is and it has nothing to do with poverty.

    The reasons for illiteracy have to do with a complex breakdown of society, which includes the removal of tests, examinations, the dumbing down of curriculum and the removal of standards for state schools. I taught three generations of students at the college level-the end of the boomers, Gen Xers and Millenials and watched academic standards being dropped by administratoins.

    Example: I first taught Composition and Literature 101 in 1979. From 1979 until 2008, almost twenty years, but teaching off and on in that time, as I did other things and was a stay at home mom for eight years, I was able to demand twelve essays covering all the types of classical writing at the university or college level.

    By 2010, just two years ago, I was being told that I could only ask for six, that is half, the essays per semester, because the students could not handle the pace.

    Why? Because the high schools had deteriorated so badly and were no longer teaching high school writing or reading, that is literature, skills.

    I was shocked in 1998, when I went back into the classroom at the drop of literacy at the university level and I was shocked again in 2010.

    None of this has anything to do with poverty. None. It has to do with the lowering of standards in the State system.

    England has experienced the same thing.

    The English school system was the envy of the world in the 1950s-1970s; again, this had nothing to do with income but with teacher training and expectations.

    On top of this is social engineering by governments who do not want an educated public. They want a compliant public which cannot think.

    The Catholic Church has schools which have much more success even in areas of great poverty, because of higher standards and the lack of social engineering ideologies.

    What my students were getting in college and university in the liberal arts, I had in elementary school-no exaggeration.

    Blame Bismarck, Dewey and Marxism, as well as socialism which is anti-intellectual but do not blame the Church.

    If you want more information, just ask me. I have given many lectures on this to boards, parents and religious in the past.

  2. Yes, the decline in education is appalling. I have been working with my wife on her English reading skills. She was born and raised in China, where she taught school, but came to the U.S. only 16 years ago. We are using McGuffey's Readers, which were a staple in American education for many years. The one room schoolhouses used them, and I am exceedingly confident that there are very few college graduates in this country who would not be confounded by some of the content in the final volume of the series.

    It's interesting that Dewey sought to dumb down American education in the interest of producing factory drones; Henry Ford had sets of the readers printed at his own expense, and shipped to schools all over the country. Clearly, he did not believe he would be well served by drones.

    It is also interesting to see the charts of spending vs. performance. The latter remains flat over time--solely because the powers that be fudge on the grading of the tests--while the costs rise at a great rate.

    The same politicians responsible for overseeing the failure of education are routinely lying to us about nearly everything they do. Go figure.

    The fault lies not in the Church, but in our declining culture(s). The fear that little Johnnie will be traumatized if he is not rewarded for merely being there has led to a failure among many--adults, too, as they were raised with this perverted notion--to understand in the least that self-esteem derives from actual accomplishment, and not from petting and applause. Worse still for those who did actually accomplish something by dint of effort, only to be unrewarded, for fear others will be hurt.

    We have become an infantile and dependent civilization, through no fault of the Church.

  3. I'm more concerned about the lack of critical thinking that I see. At this point my students don't know how to take notes. As an example, I put notes for the midterm on the board in my classroom, and several students pulled out the phones and took a picture, rather than write anything down. Compulsory education has risen and fallen. We are now simply warehousing the children of the drones we created.


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