The End of the Present World
The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life
By Father Charles Arminjon, 1881
Who can not feel compelled to read the book which St. Thérèse of Lisieux singled out in her autobiography as follows? “Reading this book was one of the greatest graces of my life.” What a striking statement! She goes on, “The impression I received from it is too sweet to express. All the great truths of religion and the mysteries of eternity plunged into my soul a happiness not of this earth.”
Completed in 1881 by an aged French priest, this remarkable book surfaced long enough to draw Thérèse into the convent and then, for more than a century, this book was plunged back into obscurity. Thankfully, an English translation is now in print (with minor editorial revisions).
A collection of nine conferences, including topics such as, the the End of the World: the signs that will precede it and the circumstances that will accompany it, the Persecution by Antichrist, the Conversion of the Jews, the Place of Immortal Life and the State of Glorified Bodies after the Resurrection. Fr. Arminjon gets right to the point: “The end of the world, Christ says, will come when the human race, sunk in the depths of indifference, is far from thinking about punishment and justice… Crudely attached to pleasures, man will say ‘My soul, you have goods to last for many years. Eat, drink and be merry.’”
The author doesn’t merely sketch the darkness ahead; he also shows how Jesus will fill that darkness with light; and he details the rich bounty Christ has in store for all who stay faithful. That is what caught St. Thérèse up in such fervent love of God, nourished her impatience for Heaven, and confirmed her decision to choose a life wholly consecrated to Divine Love.