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On the Square today, Meghan Duke draws an intriguing connection between the radical trust required by both the bond of marriage and anticipation of the end-times.

Save the date. On May 21, 2011, my brother is getting married. Or Christ will return to the earth to pronounce final judgment. It depends on whom you ask. According to my brother and his lovely bride-to-be, it will be the former, according to radio evangelist Harold Camping, the latter. On May 21, Camping predicts, God will take up his elect into heaven and the dead will be raised, with those saved being resurrected and those damned, scattered about the face of earth. Then, on October 21, the world will end.

. . .

Hoping for the end of the world is not such a strange desire of the heart and it’s by no means an exclusively religious one. Paul Erlich’s predictions of mass starvation by the 1970s in The Population Bomb were certainly apocalyptic. There was a twinge of the apocalyptic to the Y2Kers who seemed almost gleeful as they stockpiled food and water in preparation for the impending worldwide computer glitch that would return us to pre-computer life. Today, the dire forecasts of some global warming proponents sound almost biblical: pestilence and mourning and famine.

“A sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future,” the Catechism says. In marriage you go one step further, placing not only yourself, but your spouse, your children, and all future generations of your family in the hands of Providence.


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