Could It Come to This?

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Those of you who know me personally know that I’m not an apocalyptic type of guy. I don’t put stock in conspiracy theories. I don’t see black helicopters anywhere, and I don’t follow the “prophecy” prognosticators.

I do, however, follow what’s being discussed and forecast in the mainstream media, and even though many still blythely assume that, at least as far as the economy goes, things have gotten as bad as they’re going to get and the economy will soon be on the upswing, I am not so sure. In fact, when I listen to people like economist Peter Schiff, I find myself growing pessemistic about the likelihood of a rebound anytime soon and how things could get much worse rather quickly.

So, when balanced, trusted sources who happen to be my friends and work in the purely secular financial world send me articles like this, and this, and this, and they tell me, as one recently did, “the scary thing is that nothing in the article is exaggerated or fabricated,” I take notice.

This is yet another reminder to me of why I am so grateful that, by God’s grace, I am Catholic. We have the certitude of knowing that, come what may, Jesus Christ is with us and, as He said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). But notice that the Lord’s promise of having overcome the world includes the reminder that there will be tribulations we must pass through.

The articles I linked to above are brief but representative of many others out there, and they raise unsettling questions that require further elaboration and study.

I’d be curious to know what you think about them. Do you think these warnings are just baseless  fearmongering, or is there some truth to them? I’m not sure yet which way I would tilt on this question, but with everything wierd and unsettling that’s been going on in the world lately, especially in the U.S., I’m definitely paying closer attention to things like this. What about you?


  1. Clairvaux

    There have been many Catholics who have been feeling a call to rural areas to homestead. Not because of any news and it started way before anyone had any idea that this financial crisis would be upon us. Before anyone had a clue Obama would be president. I am one who felt this. Not only that, but a calling to home school for many many Catholics who also have felt a nagging call to become frugal, rural, and live Gospel simplicity and as self-sufficiently as possible…canning veggies, own eggs/chickens, goat’s milk and/or cow’s milk..the whole ball of wax. None of these families are conspiracy theorists either and they are all 100% faithful to the Magisterium. So, yes, Patrick..I think you are spot on.

  2. Rob

    The whole system is very fragile. Many people think “It couldn’t happen here” It can happen and it can all happen very quickly. It’s a house of cards. Not built on Moral fortitude but on selfish desire. Expect more of the same.

  3. Patrick Madrid

    Yes, I understand what you mean, Clairvaux. In the mid-90s, I started feeling a strong yet subtle sentiment that God wanted us to move from our home in San Diego. Nothing apocalyptic or urgent, but it was steady and unignorable. That had a lot to do with our move to rural Ohio in 1997. We love it here. And now, I think we’ll be much better off here than in congested Southern California, if things do deteriorate. But, of course, I’m hoping they won’t. I’m a BIG believer in the message of 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

  4. Patrick Madrid

    I think you’re especially right, Rob, about how so much of what exists around us in American society, let alone in effete, complaisant Europe, is grounded on selfishness, not love of God and morality.

  5. Clairvaux

    Patrick, thinking of 1 Timothy 2:1-2, would seem appropriate to ask for the intercession of St. Thomas More. January 26/27 is a *huge* feast day in the Cistercian order for Sts. Timothy and Titus. Just some religious trivia there!

  6. Joe McClane

    I was talking with Fr. Pacwa, at our Houston Conference, about the state of our society and I told him that for the first time I genuinely feel nervous. Fr. Pacwa told me that he has been hearing the same thing all over the country. I think the potential for real persecution is now presenting itself and that Christians, in the USA, may now face what Christians have been facing in many other parts of the world… martyrdom. I pray for my kids… and that if called to it I may have the courage to witness to the end. I too am not one to look at the headlines for interpretation of Scripture however, the society is changing and we must always stand up for truth… this is what is called for in the Gospel. I pray we are up to it.God BlessJoe MThe Catholic Hack!

  7. West Coast Catholic

    I'm here on the 'front-lines' so to speak, in Los Angeles.Looks like I'm here to stay, call it missionary work.I appauld those that are called to move out of this maddness, but I'm committed to family and friends here. Hopefully to set and example with God's help.I'm not by any means a martyar, however I feel the call to 'gird my loins' to teach my family that they need to be the light on the basket, to remain true to our Catholic faith even when those around you tell you that's not the place to be.Pray for those of us that are in those areas in the country that have to meet this challenge head on, everyday.PeaceWestCoastCatholic +<><Tim

  8. concordweb

    Here’s the latest in a serious series by John Mauldin (, clearly suggesting a long, rocky road ahead. God sends us “rowboats”, but it is becoming more difficult to identify them in these hard times. Jesus is with us throughout the process, however long it may be.

  9. universal

    I’ve been reading/watching the likes of Peter Schiff and Ron Paul for a couple of years now, long before any mainstream media outlet had the slightest inkling that we were headed in this direction. The entire peoples of the world have allowed themselves to be lead to the slaughter, a slow one in which we’re in the final stages. There is absolutely no political will and/or understanding to stem this because the only things they are doing are making everything worse. Their pride and lust for power prevent them from learning from past mistakes or listening to prophets like Peter Schiff who have been right on everything. So Lord help us because aside from a miracle I do not know how we are going to avoid utter economic and social collapse.

  10. Mitch

    Not what I need to hear, I feel this way too, but I am cautious to say it. My fiance and I are planning on getting married in just over a year, and we plan on going to grad school, but in my mind I keep trying to figure out what we would do if the world went south. I think it will, but I’m planning on it not, but I’m trying to figure out a backup plan. I worry that I’m just being parinoid, but so many people are begining to feel this way, people that I believe are completly sane, like you Mr. Madrid. Well for now pray and hope, and trust in Christ. People have been through worse.

  11. Matthew Bellisario

    There are many factors to consider here. Being that the economy these days is influenced much more by emotion than in the past, many things can cause it to plunge or rise with no real financial reason behind it. Another terrorist attack in the US or another European country would probably be very bad for it. Also we can’t forget the immorality that this new administration runs on and feeds on. I believe this immorality (abortion on demand, contraception n demand, euthanasia, etc, will ultimately lead us to our downfall if we don’t start voting some real candidates in that have some value for human life, and have some acknowledgment of God. Things aren’t looking up are they? I hate to be a voice of doom and gloom. Let us really step up our prayer lives if we haven’t already.

  12. Donald

    I to am trying very hard to not be pessimistic but considering the state of politics in jerusalem before its fall, in Rome before its crumble……. there is a cycle in human life that cant be ignored. Was it Mark Twain that said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme”? We must continue our voyage though, pray, and plant veggies quick! 🙂

  13. Carlos

    “even though many still blythely assume that, at least as far as the economy goes, things have gotten as bad as they’re going to get and the economy will soon be on the upswing, I am not so sure.”I have not heard this from anyone anywhere. Everyone says we’re in for a long period of pain.

  14. thisismattwade

    Hi Patrick, I’m wondering if you can comment on, or recommend some books about, the idea of “savings”. I realize that as Christians we are not to accumulate goods in “bigger and better barns”, as that would seemingly violate the bonds of charity. But it seems that in this kind of environment, there is a definite need to save in order to provide for familial and brotherly bonds in the future. As is evident in China, a high savings rate (something frowned upon by “pop-culture economists”) can provide a significant cushion for citizens when the glories of a bustling economy fade to the glimmer of a reality forged by fake “wealth” and imaginary “progress”. Indeed, the Chinese save well over 50% of their income.I suppose what I wonder, and this is the reason for my question to you, is whether it is possible to save while still fulfilling “love thy neighbor”. I realize that you are neither an economist nor a financial advisor, but I respect your opinions to the fullest. Thank you and God bless.In Christ,Matthew Wade

  15. sklnsaknlsaknlsaknlsa

    I am not sure exactly what you mean by “prophecy” prognosticators – but the wealth of private Catholic prophesy from recognized saints unfolds a very real, and very concrete, sequence of events toward which we are quite quickly approaching. I’d recommend “Trial, Tribulation, and Triumph: Before and after Antichrist” by Birch. It is the most comprehensive presentation on reputable Church prophesy available, and the outline he gives of the most probable sequence of events is very telling. Truth be told, things will really hit the fan when revolution breaks out in France and Italy, followed by Britain. Whether that is within 6 months or 25 years is impossible to know, however.

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