Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Welcome to New Folks / Q&A Time



After going on a short blogger's fast of NOT checking pageviews, followers, and other stats for a few weeks, I was delighted to notice that Coffee&Canticles has five new followers since the last time I checked.

Welcome, Bienvenido!, Bienvenue!, Wilkomen! Karibu! Mabuhay! Yokoso!, Svagat! Dobro pozalovat!, and Salve! to Doug, Wayde, Bruce, Margaret, and Tom. (I just had fun finding translations for Welcome in the languages of the countries our readers live in. Minus the correct diacritical markings over some of the letters. And I ended with Latin since we all inhabit the Catholic Church. Unless I have some non-catholic readers, which is  possible, since the Liturgy of the Hours is starting to be noticed and used by Christians of other denominations.)

As old followers know and new follower may not, the Wednesday Q&A post is for any questions you may have about the Liturgy of the Hours. These might be on the woes of finding your place in the breviary,  wondering why this or that element occurs in the Hours, questions about group vs. individual recitation rules, or, well, just about anything.

I have a sort of question  this week, after wrestling with the Office of Readings' passages from the Book of Revelation. I always find this a difficult and mostly unrewarding part of the Bible to read. Yes, there are glimpses and hints of the eternal liturgy in heaven--I've heard the Scott Hahn lecture. But all the apocalyptic stuff: the miniature- horse stinging bugs with men's heads and other assorted signs,beasts, plagues, symbols, punishments, etc. It often sounds like St. John is trying to re-tell a bad dream, with one fantastical, crazy thing happening after another.   I've heard that some of it applies to things that have already happened, such as the destruction of Jerusalem and the persecution of the early Church, and that some applies to the end of the world. But which is which? I would just like to know what God is telling us and why the Church wants us to go over it all each year in the liturgy. Assuming the world is not ending in our  lifetime, what exactly is the point of all of this for us? I have a hard time even considering the hyper-literal "Left Behind" view of it all (even aside from the "Rapture" heresy), because God has never acted this way anywhere else in history.

In other word,  I need some good Catholic commentary on the Book of Revelation.  If any of you can recommend one, please let me know.






15 comments:

  1. Maybe the Navarre Bible Commentary or the New Jerome Biblical Commentary?
    -Mike Demers

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  2. Father Robert Barron's Word on Fire podcast about the Book of Revelation does a great job. I had read the Book of Revelation and didnt feel like I took much away or understood much-but Fr Barron helped me really see it maybe as it was meant. I don't know the podcast #, I know its one of his earlier ones.

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  3. As per Patricia, here's one by Fr. Barron:

    http://www.wordonfire.org/WOF-Radio/Sermons/2001/Sermon-20---6th-Sunday-of-Easter---A-Book-of-Battl.aspx

    -Mike Demers

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  4. Thank you for the great suggestions. I've listened to both of Fr. Barron's 2001 sermons on Revelation, plus another one from the 2010 archive. Although I'd like to go more indepth eventually,perhaps with the Navarre or Jerome commentaries, these podcast were very satisfactory in answering some of my big questions. It makes total sense that the beast/anti-christ imagery can be applied to all of Satan's manifestations throughout history (e.g. HItler, Stalin, Napoleon, etc.) rather than just one person.

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  5. I wanted to add, for anyone else following this topic, that Fr. Barron has a series of four sermons on Revelation that include the one Mike linked to above. They are numbers 18 thru 21, in the 2001 archive of the Word on Fire sermon podcasts.

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  6. Catholic biblical commentaries/blogs:

    Speaking of Scripture:
    http://www.catholiccommentaryonsacredscripture.com/blog/

    The Sacred Page:
    http://www.thesacredpage.com/

    Also, check out Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, and Jimmy Akin.
    And maybe the old 1953 "A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture" edited by Orchard & Sutcliffe.

    Enjoy. -Mike Demers
    -Mike Demers

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  7. This is not related to your question, but since it's the Q&A section, I guess you'll forgive me if I ask a question. My copy of the Revised Grail Psalms finally arrived a few days ago and I love them! I have had a preference for RSV-2CE Psalms or even ESV Psalms until now. These new Grail Psalms set perfectly well with me (unlike the old Grail Psalms) and I've started using them along with the breviary. Have you have a chance to review them? Any opinions?

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  8. There are some newer books that are helpful with understanding Catholic Escatology including:

    COMING SOON: UNLOCKING THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND APPLYING ITS LESSONS TODAY by Michael Barber

    WILL CATHOLICS BE "LEFT BEHIND" by Carl E. Olson

    RAPTURE: THE END-TIMES ERROR THAT LEAVES THE BIBLE BEHIND By David B. Currie

    Also an older book recently translated and reprinted (of which I have the Kindle edition but have not read yet):

    END OF THE PRESENT WORLD: AND THE MYSTERIES OF THE FUTURE LIFE (a favorite of St. Teresa if Lisieux) by Father Charles Arminjon translated by Susan Conroy and Peter McEnerny

    Blessings. . .

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I've read the Olson and also "The Rapture Trap" several years ago, so I do understand about that particular error. What I was seeking is to learn what Revelation tells us, as opposed to what it does not. But now thanks to everyone here, I finding out. The Fr. Barron podcasts were a great start. I"ll be checking out some of the book titles over the summer.

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  9. Hi Daria, Thanks for the warm welcome to a new follower! I must say that even after having done a 10 week study of the Jeff Cavin's Revelation Bible Study, I am not much less confused than I was before having taken it. I do enjoy his lessons, just don't know that I understand them any better on this one.
    I hope to try some of the suggested readings from other followers over the summer. I am a Deacon Aspirant (almost done year 1) and my studies and assignments don't leave much time for extra reading. Summer is coming though :o
    Thanks again, Daria!
    Peace and Blessings!
    Tom

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    Replies
    1. God bless You for your willingness to serve the Church as a deacon. I know from many deacon friends that it's not easy to get back into the student lifestyle after so many years.
      Yes, summer is great for reading and learning something. If I don't end up falling asleep in my lawn lounger on those warm afternoons.

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  10. I'm going to have to check out all these suggestions. I've listened to the Scott Hahn lectures too and it's a good overview but I'm still left with more questions than answers at the end of each day's Office of Readings.

    On a positive note, however, my almost-six year-old is in love with the Office of Readings and will come running when I play the podcast. And her favorite part right now is the readings from Revelation. I keep wondering what she's getting out of it that I'm not.

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  11. Wow! A six year old who wants to listen to the OOR! Congratulations, Melanie! You've entered the ranks of homeschooling over acheivers!

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    1. Well, we're only overachieving in the one area. I'm quite behind in teaching her math and reading and writing.... And it's nothing I set out to do. Just the result of being too lazy to sit down and read the office.

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    2. You should tell the divineoffice.org folks about this. I'm sure they'll be pleased to learn about the use of their app as a catechetical tool.

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