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.