Medjugorje: In Which Catholics Have Themselves a Nice Apocalypse and Jesus Gives Us Free Cookies

Finally, another review for you!  I was hoping to do one per week, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be happening.

Ah, well.   That’s ok, because today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite potential apocalypses: Medjugorje!

(Medjugorje is a great word.  It’s pronounce MEH-juh-gor-ee.)

Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that, unlike me, most of my readers didn’t spend their teenage years obsessively reading up on these prophecies.  So some context is in order.

The story goes that in 1981, the Virgin Mary appeared to six kids on a hillside in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She offered to tell them each ten “secrets” about future events.  The secrets are written on a parchment that only the six visionaries can read.  When the time is right, the words on the parchment will be revealed to a local priest, Father Petar Ljubicic, and he’ll announce each event to the world three days before it happens (which doesn’t give us much time to prepare, but I guess that’s the point).  Until then, we don’t know what these events are–they’re secrets, silly–but four of them are apparently pretty scary, and they’re set to happen within our lifetime.

Meanwhile, the Virgin appears to the same kids, who are now grown, on the 25th of each month, and she gives them messages which I’ll post here.  I actually really like the messages–they’re mostly some variation of “I love you, and please be nice to each other” followed by vague foreshadowing.

The cool part comes next: Some day, all six visionaries will have received all ten secrets.  Then the Virgin will stop appearing forever and won’t return to earth again until after the Second Coming.  It’s all very deliciously apocalyptic!

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A Blurb on Doctor Who

Please note: Mild spoilers below.

No rants/reviews today, but I finally caught up on my Dr. Who watching last night, and I’m happy to report that May 4th’s episode, The Crimson Horror, is just dripping with Biblical Apocalypse references.  In this thrilling (and creepy) episode, a Victorian-era woman takes it upon herself to usher in the New Eden by placing the “brightest and the best” in suspended animation and poisoning the rest of the world.  Crazy people be crazy, I guess.

I couldn’t find a clip on youtube featuring any of the apocalyptic talk, but here’s the trailer.  It seems you’ll have to watch the actual episode to get the full effect.

Left Behind: In Which I Rant About What is Literally the Worst Series Ever Written, and I Include the “50 Shades” Trilogy in that Assessment

LB 01

It’s like the authors didn’t even try … because they didn’t.

I suppose to an extent we should all be thanking the embarrassing pile of fail that is the Left Behind series.  Without it, this blog would certainly not exist, and where would we all be then?! (Note: I, for one, would be off doing productive things, and that would be just silly.)

Now, many other, more talented bloggers have done a better (and funnier) job of critiquing LB than I ever could, so I won’t dwell on it for too long.  There’s no point in beating a dead horseman of the apocalypse, after all.  However, since it is the most popular book about the Rapture and has actually made its way into popular culture (The Simpsons did a parody of it, and The Simpsons=Popular Culture.), I feel I owe you at least a summary of the awfulness that is Left Behind.

Hmm, where to begin?  I guess I’ll just dive right in.  Left Behind not only failed to make me want to be a Christian; it managed to do the complete opposite.  To this day, these remain the only books that have ever actually made me want to become a Satanist.  (I don’t mean an atheist who calls themselves a Satanist to make a political point.  I mean that after reading these books my actual response was, “Wow, God sucks. I’d rather worship Satan.”)  Naturally this bothered me a lot.  Even though I don’t believe in a Satan per se, he’s supposed to represent of all the suckiness in the world–like wars and famine and unicorns dying at the hands of evil wizards–and I really don’t like any of those things.

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About Me Part 2: In Which I Introduce Myself and Lament the Lack of Anthropomorphic Drinking Containers in My Nightmares

Hello and welcome again to Rapture Practice, a blog about the End Times in all of its strange and quirky forms!  Last time, if you recall,  I explained why I wanted to start a blog about the Rapture.  But then I thought, perhaps a second explanation is in order.  Perhaps I don’t need to explain why there should be a blog about it, but …

Why am I starting a blog about it?

So maybe you were wondering what gives me the right to talk about this particular religious belief?  Am I a theology scholar?  Do I have a Master’s in Divinity?  Can I say “premillennial dispensationalist theology” 5 times fast without stumbling?  Well … no.  Definitely none of those things.

But what I lack in scholarly perspective, I make up for in personal perspective.

Growing up, I somehow managed to walk the line between devoted Catholic and hardcore sci-fi/fantasy fan.   Don’t ask me how that happened.  By high school, having read one-too-many Catholic visions of heaven, two-too-many escapist fantasy series’s, and sixteen-too-many Left Behind books, I was basically left with the idea that Jesus was going to come back any day now and shwoop us all up to heaven.*  (“Schwoop” is probably the sound it would make.) So I guess I did believe in the Rapture, although I never knew you could practice for it, or believe me, I would have been all over that like a Potterhead on a life-sized autographed cut-out of Daniel Radcliffe.

Today I can and do look back and laugh at the silly things I believed.  But believing in the Rapture wasn’t all fun and games. It involved a lot of angsting over the state of my soul.  Many of my nights looked like the “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” from the Book of Mormon, but without the dancing Starbucks cups. (Catholics have nothing against coffee, you see.)

Eventually, though, I gained enough critical thinking skills to realize that the whole end-of-the-world thing didn’t really hold up to the harsh scrutiny of logic.  Neither did the whole Christianity thing (although I’m still a spiritual person and believe that organized religion has its merits).  But the Book of Revelation has always held a special place in my heart.  After all, lest you forget, there are still the sea monsters and dragons!

So, no, I’m not a scholar or an expert on Biblical theology.  But after all those years of letting the End Times terrify me, I feel that I’ve earned a chortle or two at its expense.

~~~

*You might have noted that Catholics don’t believe in the Rapture, and Rapture proponents are harshly critical of Catholics.  You would be right.  But I was blissfully unaware of the politics between the different Christian sects.  To my mind, we were all one big happy family.  Even then I believed that God loved everyone regardless of their theology.  Hm. I never did quite fit in.

Next Week: Let the Awesome Begin!

About Me Part 1: In Which I Explain the Purpose of this Blog and Sea Monsters Make an Appearance

Hello and welcome to Rapture Practice, a charming blog about the End Times and probably other things as well! I should start by clarifying that I don’t personally believe in the Rapture, nor have I ever practiced for it. So, you may ask, why am I starting a blog about it?  Great question!

Why am I starting a blog about it?

Over the course of my deep and meaningful studies (which mostly consist of me derping around on the internet), I have come across some great apocalypses–zombie apocalypses, viral apocalypses, alien apocalypses, apocalypses brought about by natural disasters, and a whole host of other wonderful things.

But rarely have I encountered a good, old-fashioned Book-of-Revelation-style apocalypse. That is, most of the ones I have encountered have been presented in earnest seriousness by a writer who believes its really going to happen and wants to save our souls.  Rarely do I see a Revelation-style apocalypse presented purely because it’s fun, crazy, and weird, not to mention full of sea monsters, dragons chasing winged women around the sky, and fire-breathing people char-grilling their enemies.  Really, what’s not to like?

So, since the Biblical apocalypse is my favorite one, since I’ve been reading quite a bit about it lately, and since I really want someone to geek out over it with aside from conservative Christians who immediately use “Jesus is coming back!” as an excuse to hate on gay folks (no hating on gay folks allowed here!), I’m going to share my musings on this lovely blog!

Admittedly, a lot of the stories/movies/websites I cover will be supposedly serious sites created by premillenial dispensationalists, because that’s what’s out there.  (And if you don’t know what premillenial dispensationalism is, I’ll blog about that too!)  However, there are many other interpretations of the Biblical apocalypse, so I’ll try to include a little bit of everything I come across.  There will be some books, some movies, some supposed current events, and a lot of facepalming over things people do.  But mostly fun!  There will be a lot of fun!

That’s why I’m starting this blog.  Fun!  So … that answers your question, right?

Unless that wasn’t quite what you meant when you asked why I’m starting a blog about the Rapture (which I’m sure you totally asked).  Maybe you wanted to know…

Next Post: Why am I starting a blog about it?