CCC 673 Since the Ascension Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent,1 even though “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.”2. This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are “delayed”.3
CCC 675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.4 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth5 will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.6
CCC 1216 “This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding. ..”7 Having received in Baptism the Word, “the true light that enlightens every man,” the person baptized has been “enlightened,” he becomes a “son of light,” indeed, he becomes “light” himself:8
Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift. .. We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.9
CCC 2849 Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate struggle of his agony.10 In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to vigilance of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: “Keep them in your name.”11 The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.12 Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for final perseverance. “Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake.”13
1 Cf. Rev 22:20.
2 Acts 1:7; Cf. Mk 13:32.
3 Cf. Mt 24:44; I Th 5:2; 2 Th 2:3-12.
4 Cf. Lk 18:8; Mt 24:12.
5 Cf. Lk 21:12; Jn 15:19-20.
6 Cf. 2 Th 2:4-12; I Th 5:2-3; 2 Jn 7; I Jn 2:1 8, 22.
7 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 61, 12: PG 6, 421.
8 Jn 1:9; 1 Thess 5:5; Heb 10:32; Eph 5:8.
9 St. Gregory Of Nazianzus, Oratio 40, 3-4: PG 36, 361C.
10 Cf. Mt 4:1-11; 26:36-44.
11 Jn 17:11; Cf. Mk 13:9, 23, 33-37; 14:38; Lk 12:35-40.
12 Cf. 1 Cor 16:13; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:6; 1 Pet 5:8.
13 Rev 16:15.