Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever…
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun…
There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1 ESV, Selected)
History is cyclical. There is nothing new under the sun.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Everything man creates turns to ashes, there is no relief from the curse of Adam.
Man endures until he can’t; death his only relief. His children then endure until they can’t.
Moth and rust destroy; thieves break in and steal. All go to the grave.
Everything man builds collapses; every institution man creates falls.
Every institution but one:
The Catholic Church has yet to fall. It has been corrupted, it has been split, it has been broken, but it has always endured.
This is the light in the darkness man constantly wars against.
There is no hope, there is no relief, there is no victory, but one.
A fire descended, a burning illumination among the horrifying darkness.
The cycle of death and entropy never ceases, but that small fire promises hope that it will.
There is a final escape from the entropic cycle for those who have the eyes to see.
For those that keep their eyes closed, the chaos will follow them beyond the grave.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
(Revelation 21:3-4,8 ESV)