Living in the Two Hearts

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Archive for November, 2012

Coming Soon: Chapter 2 – Sacred Scripture: 4 Senses… Importance of 70AD…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 28, 2012

Index of Terms

2Chron 7:14

The 4 Senses of Sacred Scripture and Importance of AD 70

THE 4 SENSES:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the LITERAL and the SPIRITUAL, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.(CCC§115, emphasis added)

Let’s break this down more succinctly as we continue on in the Catechism

Literal: The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation:  “All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.” (CCC§116, emphasis added)

In other words, “[t]he literal sense refers to the literary or historical meaning intended by the authors.” (Barber, 13)

The INTENTION of the Author could very well be to convey an historical fact, or to write poetry popular of that day, or maybe to recount a story and do so with a deeper meaning than the original presentation. 

“Our job in reading the Bible is to discover how the biblical writers intended their words to be understood.” (Ibid.)

***All Scripture cannot therefore be interpreted the same!***

Barber gives a good example with the poetical writing found in the Songs of Solomon as he describes his lady love.  If one were to read the passage (Songs, chapter 3) and take everything LITERALLY, then the only conclusion one could reach is that Solomon was quite out of his skull!  So it is important to REMEMBER:

“the literal sense is not always the same as the ‘literal meaning’.” (Ibid.)

But when we read the Gospel passages that catalogs Jesus’ ministry, it is then that we certainly can take what is written LITERALLY as the authors are conveying historical events, that which is recorded in other histories as well.  Thus preventing the other extreme of:

“ ‘spiritualizing’ other passages by saying that they do not describe real events.” (Barber, 14)

The Bible could be understood as “history from God’s point of view”.  He is the AUTHOR of all history, and He frequently prefigures historical events with other historical events. (Ibid.)

Passover…

CASE IN POINT:

The Passover, as mentioned in the Introduction.  It was an actual historical event, with actual ritual practices, and had an actual historical outcome.  But from God’s perspective, it was also the prefigurement of the Sacrificial Lamb – Who IS JESUS, the Only Son of God – Whose sacrificial death with the rituals of trials, scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying a cross, and crucifixion also had an actual historical outcome: Our Salvation. 

SPIRITUAL SENSE:

Which takes us beautifully into the Spiritual Sense.  Again the Catechism states:

“Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture BUT ALSO the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.” (CCC§117, emphasis added)

Hence why the Spiritual Sense has three subsets:

Allegorical : refers to how Christ fulfills the OT in Himself

The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism. (CCC§117, #1)

Moral: The WAY Christ leads us to act – in Justice and Truth

The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly.  As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction.” (CCC§117, #2)

Anagogical: the WAY Christ brings all things into fulfillment both on earth and in heaven

The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem. (CCC§117, #3)

John 2: 19-21

Barber gives us a really good example of this, on page 15, with the Temple that stood in Jerusalem:

First, it’s an historical fact that the Temple stood in the city of Jerusalem = literal-historical sense. 

Second, we also read in Scripture that Jesus is the true temple, that is His Body (cf. Jn 2:21) = allegorical sense.  

Third, And we are further reminded that as members of Christ’s Body, we too are temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 3:16, 6: 19-20) = moral sense. 

Lastly (fourth), the coming again of Jesus to establish His Father’s kingdom on earth will bring about the New Jerusalem where God Himself becomes the temple – that is the place of worship (Rev 21:22), thus providing fulfillment = anagogical. 

Pretty amazing, huh?

***Conclusion… The FULLNESS of REVELATION is FOUND ONLY in CHRIST!***

THE IMPORTANCE OF 70AD:

…there will not be left here one stone upon another… Mt 24:2

Why does the year 70AD ring throughout history?  Because that is the year that the great Temple of the Jews was leveled and the city utterly destroyed.  That’s the Literal Sense, but in order to really understand the significance of this even, we’ll have to dig a little deeper.  And this is where Barber’s research really get’s interesting.

LITERAL – HISTORICAL

In order for any of this to make sense, it must be stated that:

“To ancient Israel, the temple was a miniatures model of the world…Moses built the tabernacle (a mobile temple) and Solomon built the temple itself, [and] they did so in “sevens” – seven days, seven months, seven years…They imitated the way God created the world in seven days.” (Barber, 16). 

So to them, the destruction of the Temple was in essence the destruction of their world and all that they knew!  That included their worship of the Most High God. 

When the destruction came upon the Temple, “the ritual order of the Old Testament came to a definitive end.  The temple sacrifice and the Old Testament priesthood were no longer possible.” (Barber, 16). 

The biblical writer of Hebrews confirms this:

“…if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood…what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedik, rather than named after the order of Aaron?  For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.” (Heb 7: 11, 12)

ALLEGORICAL – FULFILLING

“Truly, I say to you, this generation [40 years = 1 generation] will not pass away till all these things take place,” (Mt 24:34). 

From the time of Jesus’ ascension into heaven to the DAY of Rome’s sacking of Jerusalem, the span of time WAS 40 YEARS.  Their world had ended and their religion thoroughly destroyed.  See footnote 5 which expands on this theme.

ANAGOGICAL – FULFILLED

Jesus had warned, repeatedly, the religious leaders of His day that they were headed down the path of destruction.  Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 23 is a prime example of this.  But they did not head His warning, and instead they sought His blood. 

Yet God, who is the author of history and knew the sacrifice required to bring man back to Himself, knew that He would have to give His own blood for the forgiveness of His people (cf. Mt 26: 28b).

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God… For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified… Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.” (Heb 10: 12, 14, 18)

MORAL – THE WAY

Would not Jesus’ warning also apply to us today?  Has not the above passages demonstrated that fulfillment occurs not just in ONE TIME and PLACE?  Could it be that:

“Jerusalem’s destruction is a WARNING to ANY CITY or NATION that rejects God and persecutes His people.” (Barber, 19)

Hello?!  United States, North and South America, Canada, Europe (eastern and western), Middle East, Asia… can this not apply across the board to ALL of us?!  If you haven’t already, read, “The Harbinger” or watch the video as it describes Isaiah 9:10, and relates Jerusalem’s destruction and the signs that happened before it, with our own destruction yet to come. 

The signs match up PERFECTLY, word for word, action for action.  We HAVE called down God’s Judgment upon ourselves by our stubbornness and unrepentant hearts.  But as with Israel, on the heels of Judgment comes the Resurrection and Redemption for those who repent because the Messiah followed and brought salvation to all who would believe.  The GREAT NEWS, He will COME AGAIN and again RENEW His People!

“The lesson God wants to teach us is that ALL ARE SUBJECT to HIS JUDGMENT.  If even the Chose People can be judged, [then] nobody is safe.” (Ibid., emphasis added)

You can read more passages in the Prophets that seem eerily familiar to our time –  Ezek 20:32, 25:8; 1Sam 8:20; 2Kings 17:15. 

“Determined is that day of JUSTICE, the day of divine wrath…”

It is safe to say that:

“The year 70 is a dress rehearsal for the real thing.  The destruction of Jerusalem symbolizes the end of the world and teaches us the lessons we need to prepare for it.” (Ibid.)

That is the end of what we know, what we are familiar with.  Just as the ancient Israelites lost their world, so too will we lose ours. 

But just like those ancient Jewish-Christians, who headed Jesus’ warnings (cf. Lk 21:20; Mt 24:15) because they paid attention to the ‘signs of the times’, they escaped the destruction because:

they, “fled to Pella just before the Roman legions arrived to besiege Jerusalem.  Not a single [Jewish-] Christian perished.”  (Barber, 17)

We need to repent and “flee” to our Savior’s Sacred Heart by running to “the desert” and seek refuge with Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.  Why?  Because she will ALWAYS bring us to her Son, AND because God has prepared a place for her “in which [she will] be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days [3 1/2 years].” (Rev 12: 6c)

JEWISH-CHRISTIANS???

And I say, Jewish-Christian because the early Christians still attended temple worship as well as breaking bread in their homes (cf. Acts 2: 46; 3:1).  The label of ‘Jewish’ disappeared gradually as persecutions picked up against the followers of Christ, thus making it necessary to distinguish between the two groups. 

Barber also makes mention of our connection with the early Jews who were also Christian, and reminds us that to hold all people of Judaism responsible for Christ’s persecution and death is completely erroneous.  Once again, God’s judgment is for ALL OF US, because “ALL have SINNED and fall short of the Glory of God (cf. Romans 3:23).

My “to-do” list

CHAPTER 3: The Liturgy of Heaven: Please read ahead if you have the book.  

If you do not yet have the book, don’t panic!  You can get the book on Kindle and download it directly to your computer.  Amazon offers free apps for reading Kindle books on computers, i-Pods, phones, etc…

Chapter 2: Discussion/Study Questions

Previous Chapter – Introduction: Discussion/Study Questions answers and reflections

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Coming Soon…Chapter One

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 26, 2012

How well do you know your faith?

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.  The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of His Messiah come in the flesh. ~CCC§675 (emphasis added)

Make yourselves familiar with the above passage, because it will present itself throughout this study.  It is the central theme to which I will refer back to as this study progresses.

Important information here…

Yet, before I begin, there needs to be an Index of Terms so the reader has reference for abbreviations and text formation within this study.  This index will later appear in PDF format at the beginning of each study for the reader so they can access it without having to leave the study.

Index of Terms:

  • InJD = In John’s Day – referring to the history found in Revelation as it happened
  • InOD = In Our Day – applying this Living Text of Sacred Scripture to our own time and events
  • (Barber, pg#) = reference to where you can find the current quote in use in the book.
  • [ …] = when used inside a quote, these are my words and do not appear in the original text.  Most often used for further clarification and/or for a smoother read.
  • (Ibid.) = quote used is found on the same page as the proceeding quote.
  • ***REGARDLESS of the text and translation used (Holy Bible, RSV Catholic Edition); whenever God is in reference to the Pronoun will receive a capital letter in reverence to our Creator : i.e. Him, His, Himself.***

By Michael Barber

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

“Revelation” in Greek literally means “unveiling”.

In this book, we will take an in-depth look at the Apocalypse.  Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, we will move through this difficult and confusing book of the Bible.  Along the way, we will steer clear of fanciful interpretations by faithfully following the criteria laid out by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Second Vatican Council for studying scripture:

The Content of Unity of Scripture: We will look at the Book of Revelation in the context of the rest of the Bible, seeing how its message fits into God’s fatherly plan (the oikonomia).

The Church’s Living Tradition: The Book of Revelation cannot be properly understood without seeing its relationship to the Church’s tradition, as passed on through her liturgy.

The analogy of Faith: As we consider the concepts and images presented in this book, we will remain faithful to the teachings of the Church, using them to guide us to faithful interpretation.

Rest assured: The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Scripture, and He helps us to understand Scripture as the Faith is passed on through the life of the church, particularly in her liturgy and in her teaching authority.  (Barber, introduction, xi, xii)

~Michael Barber©2005

——————————————————————————————————————————————

INTRODUCTION:

Having provided that, there is one other element that must be addressed and understood.  It is an element that Barber also thought required addressing and I’m very grateful for his thorough job!  That is, to confirm in the clearest of terms THAT the Apostle John DID INDEED write the Apocalypse.   You can find Barber’s complete evidence in the very first chapter.  I will just give the highlights in the parallel scripture passages as they are found in John’s Gospel and Revelation:

Gospel of John ……………….… Book of Revelation

Jesus as the WORD:                      Jn 1: 1, 14 ———————- Rev 19:13

Jesus as the LAMB:                     Jn 1:29, 36 ——————–  Rev 5: 6, 8, 12, etc…

Christian Worship as
something
done in the Spirit:                        Jn 4:23 ————————– Rev 1:10

Salvation as the gift
of “Living Water” :                      Jn 4:14 —————————- Rev 21:6

Jesus as the Giver
of true Manna :                             Jn 6: 48-50 ———————– Rev 2:17

Mother of Jesus as the
Mother of all believers:          Jn 19: 26-27 ———————- Rev 12:17

The Bridegroom and
the Bride:                                          Jn 3:29 —————————- Rev 19:7, 21: 2, 9

[The call to give our
lives even unto death
(martyrdom)]:                             Jn 12:25 —————————- Rev 12:11

Satan as “cast out” :                  Jn 12:31 —————————– Rev 12:9

Mother of Jesus
being called Woman:              Jn 2:4, 19:26 ———————– Rev 12: 1, 5

Jesus as the
True Temple:                              Jn 2:21 ——————————-  Rev 21:22

Christ as Shepherd:                 Jn 10: 1-16 ————————— Rev 7:17

One can understand, then, why those who lived closest to John knew him as not only ‘Saint John the Evangelist’ (the Gospel writer) but also ‘St. John the Revelator’.” (Barber, 4)

Not to mention that “Clement of Alexandria says that John wrote the Apocalypse while on the island of Patmos, where he had been banished by a ‘tyrant’ [that is Nero, emperor of Rome].” (Ibid.  See footnote 6 for more information.)

For a complete and chilling history of the cruelty of this emperor, see page 5.  It’s interesting to note that the many ‘beasts’ that have followed since Nero’s time have embraced the same type of cruelty in their contempt for mankind and their apparent wish to see mankind destroyed (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao) .  Something, I might add, that comes up later in the discussion of Satan and his same hatred for mankind.

Sacred Scripture

Which then also reiterates the TRUTH already stated that “Sacred Scripture is timeless”.  It applies to YESTERDAY, TODAY, and the DAYS TO COME.  Barber also makes this point with the event of the Passover.  He states, “There was once a real Passover in Egypt that saved Israel from real bondage – a Passover at which a real lamb was really slaughtered and eaten.  This HISTORIC EVENT PREFIGURES another moment in history – the sacrifice of Christ as the TRUE Passover Lamb, who died to SET US FREE from BONDAGE to sin.(Barber, 14, emphasis added)

So as we continue to read through John’s book of unveiling we are reminded that his writings may pertain to many of the events in our day BUT they also HAPPENED in John’s day to some extent as he prepared the Christians in Jerusalem for the coming destruction of the great city; so too does He prepare us for our own ‘destruction’ – that is the collapse of all that we know.

STUDY MAKE-UP:

The next two chapters provide background and give us a firm foundation for our study in this book of the “Unveiling”.  Read them well, because if you skip any parts, what follows will not make total sense, and you WILL find yourself thumbing back to the beginning to try and discover what you missed.

Also, I’ve had further reflection on these postings.  They may actually occur more frequently than originally thought.  I’ll try to include the next post date with each upcoming chapter to give everyone participating a “head’s up!”

ARE U READY?

Okay, this ends the Introduction.  If you have the book, take a look at the end of the book chapter questions.  Note, the Multiple Choice questions have the answers at the bottom of the page.  But see if you can answer them first without looking at the answers. 

The next page has the Discussion/Study Questions.  This is where this book study can take on an active side.  If you have the book, and if you’re interested – for this chapter and the chapters that follow – answer the questions Barber asks and then choose one that really caught your attention. 

Then, follow the link at the bottom of THIS page, and drop me a line with your response.  If a lot of people respond, I’ll pick the most thought provoking ones and post them on a separate page, with only your initials so as to keep a level of privacy, but so that you can recognize your own response.  If it’s appropriate, I’ll include my own response to those I post.  I hope many will consider participating.

My “to-do” list

FOR CHAPTER TWO:  Please read all of chapter 2 so that you have a “heads up” concerning the content; and so you can participate in the discussion questions that follow at the end of the chapter.  I guarantee it, the posts will have deeper meaning for those who read ahead.   

Introduction Discussion/Study Questions

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