The primary spiritual climate of the modern societies of former Christendom is as dark in nature as any of the greater phases of God’s Plan since the foundation of the world--as dark as Noah’s day, as Babel, as Egypt, as the Seleucids, as pagan Rome. It is not as widespread, but in nature, it is as dark as these.
The false prophet, with its two horns like Christ, [Apocalypse 13:11, "And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns, like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon"] can image the two great lies of the fall, taking the two base sacraments of heretics, Baptism and Marriage, and twisting them into the ultimate heresy, the base principles of all wickedness--taking two of the lamb's seven horns and twisting them into the ultimate anti-sacramental lies of the fall:
Anti-Baptism: Seek not to know and love God in this life, to have faith and repentance, the base dispositions of Baptism. Rather, believe as you wish and do as you wish. No faith, no repentance.
Anti-Marital Disposition toward God: Seek not ultimately to marry your Creator in the next life, but to fornicate, figuratively, with the creation in this life: Materialism; living for this world rather than the next; living for brute, superficial created goods [pleasures, possessions and egotistical accomplishments] instead of the Uncreated Good of God, who alone can truly satisfy in the ultimate sense.
These are the lies of any great age of darkness in human history, and they are the lies of our modern age.
The modern European and their derived Cultures
The primary spiritual climate of the modern societies of former Christendom is as dark in nature as any of the greater phases of sin of God’s Plan since the foundation of the world--as dark as Noah’s day, as Babel, as Egypt, as the Seleucids, as pagan Rome. It is not as widespread, but, in nature, it is as dark as these.
Toward that end, how might we quantify or qualify this darkness? This article attempts to give a rigorous theological, anti-sacramental, and mystical way to do this. To begin, if we are to assess what the ultimate lies of the dragon are, we must first see what the greatest truths and goods of God and His purpose for us are.
Baptism and Marriage -- Basic Sacraments Summarize Meaning of Life
We have just seen from the Loaves and Fishes discourse that heretics retain only two sacraments, two fish, Baptism and Marriage. We have to ask ourselves, is this accidental, arbitrary? Is not Christ ordered and purposeful in what He does? We should therefore expect that Baptism and Marriage, being the only two sacraments that do not require a priest, have a special theological significance for the faith. Indeed I feel so, which I shall now attempt to argue.
First, let us add extrapolation on the purposes of life, per the Catholic Catechism from antiquity. There are two great reasons we exist, that summarize all we are called for. Even, actually, there is but one great reason we exist, which works out in two dimensions: Per Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, the ultimate reason God creates is to share the Divine Life, Love, and Knowledge of the Trinity with creatures, de fide. The two dimensions which this takes place are this life, and, hopefully, the next life. Hence:
1) To share in the Divine Life, Love, and Knowledge of the Trinity in this life
2) To share in the Divine Life, Love, and Knowledge of the Trinity in the next life, in fullness and forever
The Baltimore Catechism then rephrases:
1) To know, love, and serve God in this life
2) To be happy with Him forever in the next
Note, each set of principles are equivalent: knowing and loving God is the same as sharing in the Life, Love and Knowledge of the Trinity, since serving and loving God is only done by the presence of sanctifying grace (a finite, created participation in the Divine Life and Love the Trinity), and knowing God is to partake of the Knowledge of the Trinity. Too, we will be happy in heaven forever with God, precisely by growing in love and knowledge of God, which will never be exhausted.
Now, we will argue that the signs or dispositions of Baptism and Marriage perfectly fulfill these principles:
The first condition, to know, love and serve God, is the disposition of Baptism, since knowing God is faith, and love and service is good will, or repentance, the two primary dispositions that we must have for Baptism and to remain faithful to our Baptismal vows.
And the second condition, to be happy with God forever in the next life, is like Marriage to God, since, collectively, we shall all be caught up as the Woman who marries Jesus, receiving the Divine Knowledge, Love, and Life into our inner souls and offering praise and rejoicing back to God in an endless exchange of reckless, spiritual ecstasy, much the same as the nuptial act of man and woman, where the man penetrates the inner being of the woman and infuses the ultimate gift of himself, the seed of life, symbolizing the spiritual life of truth and grace, and the woman, after having conceived this gift unto herself, offers back her love and brings forth new life back.
Hence, Baptism and Marriage summarize, in their ultimate signs, or dispositions, the two greatest principles of our reason to exist, and hence, of all that has ever been good, or will be! In other words, these two remnant sacraments for heretics truly are special: they are the basic summary of all life, of all goodness!
But then, what else can we conclude except that, if we fully deny these principles, we get the supreme lies that summarize all evil, that ever has been, or will be--in other words, the very lies of the fall themselves, perpetually recycled in every age of sin!
Indeed, this is exactly what we will argue, as follows:
Anti-Baptismal Spirit: The first lie of the dragon is, have no regard for the Baptismal disposition--no faith, no repentance: believe what you want and do what you want, you will be better off, more satisfied, and there will be no consequences, whether in this life or any presumed afterlife.
Anti-Marital Spirit: The second lie is like it: don't live for the Marriage with God in the next life but live for superficial "intercourse", or fornication, figuratively, with the world, the counterpart to God. That is, seek not to marry the Creator in the next life, but spiritually fornicate withe Creation in this life, MATERIALISM. Seek your fulfillment not in the Uncreated goods of love, truth, beauty, and gift, but the merely brute created goods: pleasures, possessions, and egotistical accomplishments.
Consider a further support of these ideas: Solomon said in Scripture "all wickedness came before Abraham was." So then, this would seem to imply that all lies of the fall and the practice thereof came before Abraham was. And that corroborates our theology above:
The two greatest stages of sin before Abraham were the Wickedness of Noah's day and the Tower of Babel.
Noah's day was clearly Anti-Baptism: The world was wicked (no repentance) and had no faith (they mocked Noah's revelation of flood). So then God Baptized the world, the Flood.
The Tower of Babel was clearly Anti-Marriage toward God: man was gathered together as one woman, but not a spouse to God, the People of God; rather, a whore, joining herself in selfish materialistic glory with the world, a tower, rather than seeking God's glory and Him as the spouse. So God divided them up through language confounding and Married one nation, the Hebrews, His first Bride.
How appropriate then, the two great first falls of man are against the basic principles of life, against the basic sacraments of all, and they were healed spiritually by the basic sacraments' signs.
Now, in light of this theology, consider this: in Apocalypse, Jesus, the Lamb, has seven horns, and the false prophet has two, "like a Lamb."
Now, firstly, couldn't the seven horns of the Lamb be seen, at least in one layer of meaning, as the Sacraments, seeing as horns many times symbolize power in the Bible and that Jesus' greatest power is in His grace, of which the seven Sacraments are the greatest source?
But what, then, of the two horns of the false prophet that are "like a Lamb"? This would clearly imply two counterfeit anti-sacraments. For this, we consider that Tertullian, per Blessed John Paul the II in his Theology of the Body, taught that the devil mocks or plagiarizes the Sacraments, twisting their signs evilly. For example, the devil mocks the Eucharist with gluttony and drunkenness. He mocked Baptism through Pilate, who instead of cleaning his head of bad faith and ill will, washed his hands of moral culpability of the ultimate sin of all, murdering the Son of God. In another example, the devil mocks Marriage with literal prostitution and fornication.
In light of this, seeing as it says, again, in apocalypse 13 that the false prophet has two horns, "like a Lamb", it very well may imply that the supreme "false prophecy" of the devil , the lies of the fall, is the twisting of the principles of some two sacraments of Christ. But then, if so, which two might this spiritual false prophet mock in his two horns?
Use common sense; what we have just seen: the basic sacraments, the remnant sacraments of the heretics, the two fish, which are the basis of all goodness, Baptism and Marriage! Hence, the world asks the father of lies, the worst father of all, for two fish, asking, "Should we seek to know, love, and serve God in this world, Baptismal desire, and should we seek to live for the marriage to God in the next life as our ultimate fulfillment?" The dragon, in place of the two fish, gives serpents, making them appear as fish[Jesus: “What father would give his child a serpent if he asked for a fish?”... “And the second beast had two horns, like a Lamb, but it spake as a [serpent]”), the lies of anti-Baptism and anti-Marriage toward God (You are God, You determine what is true and right. And you will find your ultimate fulfillment in this world, not the next). So that the mocking of the two bases of all goodness above is the basis of all evil, the lies of the fall. That is, what little base goodness is retained by heretics is mocked into the ultimate heresy!
And certainly, again, these are the lies of any great age of darkness in human history, and they are the lies of our modern age!