Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” (Matt 6:34).
As I typed that Scripture verse, I heard my dog throw up somewhere in the house. Shoot. Yup, each day has enough trouble of its own.
A dog mess is not earth shattering, but it’s here and now. Meanwhile the makings of Armageddon are afoot. According to the Book of Revelation, Armageddon will be the gathering of armies for a battle of good and evil during the end times.
Can the end be far off? Faithful Christians appeal for prayer and fasting to save us while the culture seems bent on forcing God’s hand. What’s wrong with everyone? And what am I doing in a place like this anyways? Leave it to Beaver’s neighborhood seemed like a much better time and place.
We wince daily as the outrageous becomes the norm and we steel ourselves for the fire and brimstone, which surely must be right around the corner. And then, the dog throws up. Or someone skins their knee and we need to buy groceries so we’ll worry about Armageddon tomorrow. Or maybe we’ll let tomorrow worry about itself.
An Exorcist’s Opinion
During an interview for a previous article with Father Vincent Lampert, the designated exorcist for the archdiocese of Indianapolis, I was curious what he thought about Armageddon. As an exorcist of 13 years, Father Lampert has seen a thing or two. He trained at the North American College in Rome and assisted with over 40 exorcisms with longtime Italian exorcist Father Carmine De Filippis.
“I would go to Scripture,” Father Lampert said and referred to Matthew 24:36. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
“God warns us not to get involved in the End Times,” he said. “Instead, it’s important, every day, to live our life as God calls us.” The end itself is not even something we should fear, according to him. “If we are living our lives the way God calls us, then whenever he does call, he will find us worthy,” he explained. “Talk of Armageddon often instills fear, but an authentic relationship with God is one of love and mercy.”
Fear is the enemy of true faith, Father Lampert pointed out. “I don’t think faith is authentic if we are living in fear,” he said. “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, but that is about being in awe of God. Worrying about the End Times is about the loss of hope, and it brings fear, and anxiety, and destruction. All of those things are contrary to faith.”
Although he fights evil head on, Father Lampert said his ministry is about restoring hope. “I do that as a parish priest as well,” he said. “It’s about helping people discover hope and joy and love.”
How does an exorcist and parish priest find peace and comfort during these times? “I always find my sense of solace in the fact that God is in charge,” he said. “It puts everything in perspective, and then the worry and fear dissipates.”
Putting God in charge gives us the strength not to let the world overwhelm us, Father Lampert explained. “The human person is made for more than this life,” he said. “A relationship with God is what gives us true freedom. But freedom doesn't mean we get to do whatever we want. It means having the freedom to be obedient to God. Otherwise we become slaves to our own passions.”
And when we have such a relationship with God, Father Lampert said we have nothing to fear.
A Prayer for Peace (St. Francis de Sales)
Be at Peace. Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather look to them with full hope as they arise.
God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them. He has kept you hitherto, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in his arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you then and everyday.
He will either shield you from suffering, or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.