Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Coming Soon Book Study, Chpt 9: Seventh Trumpet, God’s Victory & the Woman…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 3, 2013

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for Us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

CHRISTIAN PRAYER:  Tuesday, Morning Prayer: READING: Joel 2: 12-13 (emphasis added)

Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and RETURN to the Lord, your God.

For gracious and merciful is He, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

RESPONSORY: God Himself will set me free, from the hunter’s snare.

Index of Terms

Revelation 11:15-18 (emphasis added)

The Seventh Trumpet – God’s Victory and the Woman

BookStudyChapt9

Revelation 11: 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give thanks to Thee, Lord God Almighty’…”

This is what we could call a “sneak-peak” as it gives us the end of the story – AGAIN John’s book is NOT linear and following in a particular order.  So this “sneak-preview” of :

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ…”

Tells us that God HAS the victory!  It’s already “in the bag”.  This is vitally important for us to understand because it means that the ENEMY has lost and that will include ALL HIS FOLLOWERS.  For Jesus promises…

Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, AND throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” (Mt 13: 40-42)

And for those who did not deny Jesus’ name before the Father, what about them?  They will…

“… shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Mt. 13:43)

Which then begs the repeat of last week’s question: Why would anyone choose anything less?!

“Well, since the victory is already won, can’t we just sit back and wait for it?”

And tell me, what makes you think that you’ll be included in that victory?  God’s victory is certain, what is NOT CERTAIN is our personal participation in that.  Our Salvation is only guaranteed in that it is there for us to reach out and claim, but we are by no means certain that we have salvation unless we are living our days, MOMENT BY MOMENT, for the Holy Will of God… A theme that will occur over and over again throughout this chapter.  For Christ said:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord…’ and…I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evil doers.’”  (Mt 7:21, 22a, 23)

And His servant, St. Paul reminds us all to…

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to WILL and to WORK for His good pleasure.”  (Phil 2: 12c-13)

But there’s even more to this passage…

Rev 6:12-17

Rev 6:12-17

Revelation 11:16 “And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give thanks to Thee, Lord God Almighty’…”

It is…interesting that the saints take this opportunity to give ‘thanks’ to God. ‘Thanks’ in Greek is the word from which we get ‘Eucharist’…” (Barber, 143)

Where do we “give thanks” or better still, where do we get our Eucharist?  In the celebration of the Holy Mass!  It is in attending and participating in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass that we follow the examples of the “twenty-four elders who sit before God”, giving further example of the validity of the claim, the Holy Mass IS the Liturgy of Heaven.

THERE IS EVEN MORE THAN THAT!!!

There is a subtle change in how God is mentioned…

Revelation 11:17 “…Who art and Who wast, that Thou hast taken Thy great power and begun to reign…” (emphasis added)

“… whereas the Lord was previously referred to as the one who ‘was and is and is to come’, He is now simply called… ‘art and wast’…” (Barber, 143)

Why? Because the next sentence tells us that God, “hast taken Thy great power and begun to reign…”

“…because His judgment is underway. This sequence reaches its climax in Chapter 16…” (Ibid.)

In other words, it’s no longer anticipated but now IS, following of course our persecution

Revelation 11:18 “The nations raged, but Thy wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, for rewarding Thy servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear Thy name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

Why not count yourself on the side of the “prophets and saints, and those who fear” God’s name?  Make a TRUE REPENTANCE, especially during this season of Lent. “Rend your hearts and not your garments”, as the Prophet Joel states, and make of yourself an unblemished gift to God – He that created you and LOVED you from the first.  For Jesus says,

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk 15: 7, emphasis added)

Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My Mercy… My daughter, write about My Mercy towards tormented souls.  Souls that make and appeal to My Mercy delight Me.  To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion” (Diary of St. Faustina No. 1146, emphasis added)

THE WOMAN CLOTHED WITH THE SUN

A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun...

A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun…

Revelation 11:19 “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and THE ARK OF HIS COVENANT was SEEN WITHIN HIS TEMPLE; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” 12:1 “And a great [sign] appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars…”

Did you know that this is the exact appearance of Mary to Juan Diego in 1531 in Mexico.  When Juan went to the local Bishop and told him what Mary had asked, the Bishop sent Juan back with a request to our Lady to prove her authenticity. 

Juan brought back roses that could only grown in Spain and had them wrapped in his tilma.  When he opened his tilma to allow the roses to fall at the Bishop’s feet, the image of our Lady was there for all to see.  A Woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head, a crown of twelve stars.  John’s vision of the Woman for all of us to see!

You can see this tilma still in existence enshrined in Mexico City at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

***To truly understand Mary’s importance, we must first look at the Old Testament. ***

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ARK?

The Ark first appears in Sacred Scripture in the book of Exodus (Ex 40: 34-38).  It contained God’s Word – the 10 Commandments, some of the manna sent down from heaven, and the staff of Aaron as High Priest.  Cherubim sat on either side and the presence of God was said to hover just above whenever He was in counsel with Moses and the elders.

SOMETHING SOUNDS FAMILIAR

Hey...!

Hey…!

Having read that above passage, something should seem strangely familiar.  If you’ve ever been in a Catholic Church where the faith is lived and shared, you should see the tabernacle upon entering the Sanctuary – front AND center.

Churches that have some life in them will have the tabernacle a little off to the side.  Churches with no life in them will have the tabernacle off in a side room or behind everyone so that you forget you’re in a Catholic Church. 

I was in one just recently.  Not only was Jesus not in the sanctuary, he was BEHIND it in a little room that you wouldn’t even know was there unless someone pointed it out; which is how I found it.  My heart was broken and I felt remorse for this church because “they know not what they do”…

Why so much emphasis on the placement of the tabernacle?  Because of one very prominent reason: Because of what the tabernacle contains!  It contains God’s Word made Flesh (Jn 1: 1-2), which is the Bread that comes down from Heaven (Jn 6:35, 38, 48, 50-51), to be our High Priest for all eternity “in the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 5:10; 7: 15-17, 20-22, 25-27). 

This isn’t just God’s presence hovering above…NO! This is THE ACTUAL PRESENCE, Body, Blood Soul and Divinity OF God continually present to us!!!  Did you hear what I said?!  He is ALWAYS present to us in the Tabernacle of any Catholic Church where the consecration is repeated by those priests who are ordained by the Bishops in union with Rome. 

***A Little Side Note: So when you genuflect before entering the pew, you’re not just genuflecting for no reason.  You are demonstrating your recognition of the Son of God present in the tabernacle. You are genuflecting before God!  Shouldn’t that genuflection be sincere?***

RETURNING TO THE ARK OF OLD

Did you know, or maybe you’ve heard that…

Nothing ritually unclean could touch the Ark.” (Barber, 147)

What happened when something unclean did touch the Ark?  Check this out!

In 1Samual 4:22, we read how the Philistines, the sworn enemies of Israel, captured the Ark.  In the following chapter we read of the havoc this causes in their land… it’s quite humorous and I recommend the read. 

Things became so terrible for these people that a cry went out, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not slay us and our people.” (1Sam 5:11)  This was finally done but not until many people developed terrible tumors and sores all over, killing many.

Another case involved not an enemy of God, but instead a man who forgot himself and the importance of the Ark. David requested the Ark return to the Holy City of Jerusalem and sent out many to see the Ark safely home. 

Once such man was Uzzah, and on his cart was the Ark of the Covenant.  One of the oxen stumbled a bit and Uzzah reached up to prevent the Ark from shifting, thus touching the presence of God.  What happened?

“…the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there because he put forth his hand to the Ark; and he died there beside the Ark of God.” (2Sam 6:7)

Why?  Because if Uzzah had really understood the significance of that which sat on his cart he would have been terrified to come near it.  As it was, his casual attitude “this is just something on my cart ”, speaks volumes of his lack of reverence, understanding, and belief. 

Do you suppose we’ll be held any less accountable for our indifference towards God in the presence of the Tabernacle?  Don’t count on it.

Early Church Father, St. Methodius, reminds us…

For if to the ark, which was the image and type of…sanctity, such honor was paid of God that to no one but to the priestly order only was the access to it open, or ingress allowed to behold it…” (Barber, 149)

So the importance of the Ark is REAL and carries with it SEVERE punishments for any who approach it without reverence and in the fear of God. 

So here’s THE QUESTION: How much greater then is it for a Creature to contain the NEW ARK – Who is Jesus, the only begotten Son of God?

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MARY
The Woman Clothed with the Sun

A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun...

A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun…

Mary became the New Ark of the New Covenant and the parallels are startling, to say the least!

Remember how we spoke of God’s hovering (See Exod 40: 34-38), over the Ark between the two Cherubim found on the top of the Ark?  Well listen to this and what a certain Angel of the Lord told a favored maid whom God fashioned for Himself (See CCC§490-493), a woman of total GRACE to carry His Son…

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!’” (Lk 1: 26-28, emphasis added)

The angels are present, a proclamation is made, she is more than favored, she is “full of grace” and from “the house of David”, fulfilling God’s promise (See 1Kings 9: 4-5; 2Kings 8:19; Is 11:1-5, 10), of the lineage of His Son.  But here’s the next important part connecting to the hovering power of God

And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.’” (Lk 1:35, emphasis added)

The Greek word for ‘overshadow’ is the same word used to describe God’s presence ‘overshadowing’ the ark in the tabernacle in the Old Testament.” (Barber, 148)

That which God did to make His presence known over the Ark of the Covenant, He would now do to a humble handmaid of the House of David, to fulfill what was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah…

Here then, O house of David! … Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold a [virgin] shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Is 7:13, 14)

Not only that, but God tells Mary of a distant relative of hers who “has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren.” (cf. Lk 1:36b)

Which leads Mary to make an important decision which then further parallels another Old Testament witness concerning the Ark of the Covenant and a certain King David.

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Lk 1: 39-40, emphasis added)

And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baalejudah” (2Sam 6:2, emphasis added)

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! …’” (Lk 1: 41-42, emphasis added)

And when David had finished…he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts” (2Sam 6:18, emphasis added)

And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43, emphasis added)

And David was afraid of the Lord that day and he said, ‘How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?’” (2 Sam 6:8, emphasis added)

For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Lk 1:44, emphasis added)

The Ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord.” (2Sam 6:16, emphasis added)

And Mary remained with her about three months…” (Lk 1:56a, emphasis added)

And the Ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months.” (2Sam 6:11a, emphasis added)

(cf. Barber, 148-149)

So everywhere the Ark of the Lord (of the Old Covenant – the Mosaic Covenant) went with David on his journey back to Jerusalem prefigured the journey of the New Ark – Mary – as she brought the New Covenant – Jesus (cf. Lk 22:20) – to Elizabeth for the purpose of sanctifying His forerunner, John the Baptist.

To continue St. Methodius’ thoughts on this New Ark…

“… what sort of veneration is due to thee from us who are of creation the least, to thee [Mary] who are indeed a queen [Rev 12:1]; to thee, the living ark of God, the Lawgiver; to thee, the heaven that contains Him who can be contained of none?  For since thou, O holy virgin, hast dawned as a bright day upon the world and hast brought forth the Sun of Righteousness, that hateful horror of darkness [the Dragon, Rev 12: 3-4], has been chased away [Rev 12:9].” (Barber, 149, emphasis added)

Did not God promise to Eve and her decedents…

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall strike His heel.” (Gen 3:15)

THE IMPORTANCE OF “WOMAN”

In John’s writing, both in Revelation and in his Gospel, Mary is always referred to as “woman”. When as Jesus laying dying on the cross, John records …

Woman behold your son!” (Jn 19:26)

And again at the Wedding Feast in Cana…

Woman, how does your concern affect Me?…” (Jn 2:4)

And now in Revelation…

A woman clothed with the sun” (Rev 12:1)

Three times mentioned, significant, and important as it is the WOMAN who…

“…[brings] forth a male, One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron[and the] child was caught up to God and His throne.” (Rev 12:5)

St. John Damascene speaks of this significance in a homily during the celebration of the Assumption…

This day the Holy and Singular Virgin Mary is presented in the sublime and heavenly Temple… This day the sacred and living Ark of the Living God, who bore within her womb her own Creator, took up her rest within that Temple of the Lord that was not made with hands … And David her forefather, dances with joy.” (Barber, 150, emphasis added)

Given the parallels of Mary and the ark, it should be no wonder that in Revelation 12, a vision concerning ‘a woman’ who bears the Messiah follows a vision of the ark of God.” (Barber, 149)

ALWAYS MORE THAN ONE MEANING

Sacred Scripture

Sacred Scripture

If you’ve been following this study, you know by now that there is always more than one meaning to Sacred Scripture as it is a… everyone together now… the LIVING, BREATHING, UNCHANGING WORD OF GOD!  Because it’s God’s own Word and He became flesh and dwelt among us, but I digress…

As such this passage pertaining to the “Woman” giving birth to a “male child”…

“…is reminiscent of the image that Isaiah used to describe the restoration of God’s people.  Isaiah depicted Israel, on the verge of restoration, as a woman in labor: ‘Like a woman with child, who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near her time’ (Is. 26:17).  At the end of his book, he again uses similar imagery: ‘Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son’(Is. 66:7). ” (Barber, 150-51)

The “Woman” is also “Daughter Zion”, the restored house of Judah after her exile in Babylon, which brought forth the people from whom the Messiah would come from a humble Jewish handmaid who said YES to her God…

Those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus (Rev 12:17).” (Barber, 151)

Therefore those who followed Christ, who were called by Him to “follow after Me”, became the foundation for Christ’s Holy Church…

“…the Church, as Mother of all Christians, is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s Daughter Zion prophecies.” (Ibid.)

And Mary IS the…

“…icon of the Church, mother of all believers.” (Ibid.)

Woman, behold your son… [Son], behold your mother.” (Jn 19:26)

There, dying on the Cross, Jesus gives His mother to be the mother of the beloved disciple, who represents all Christians.” (Barber, 151)

By her complete adherence to the Father’s Will, to His son’s redemptive work and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity.  Thus she is a ‘preeminent and…wholly unique member of the Church’; indeed, she is the ‘exemplary realization’ of the Church.” (CCC§967)

And remember…

Nothing ritually unclean could touch the Ark.” (Barber, 147)

So Mary, the New Ark also had to be “ritually clean” because she carried God in her womb…

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14)

Daughter Zion is both virgin bride and fruitful mother… This prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus, the God-Man, who become the new Adam, making Mary the new Eve.  She is BOTH virgin and mother.” (Barber, 152, emphasis added)

Both/And = Good Theology!

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, [was] preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (CCC§491, Pope Pius IX proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.)

Mary’s participation in God’s plan of salvation was crucial and complete in that all prophecy concerning the Son of man was fulfilled by her very simple act of obedience – that is living her life ENTIRELY by desiring the Will of God and living that Holy Will not day by day but MOMENT by MOMENT.

This is also why she is our MODEL for how to live in the Father’s Will.  She is fully human, just like you and me, and she believed herself capable of sin (See the reflections in the Rosary on the Life of Mary), but she was “Full of Grace” and had no room for sin. 

She chose not to sin because it would be against her very nature to sin.  All of us can imitate that, and even if we fail, we can try, try again.  And with the GRACE of God filling our hearts, we might even succeed on some unknown level.

Worth a try, isn’t it?  “Rend your hearts, not your garments, and RETURN to the Lord your God.

Mary, Holy Mother of God, pray for us!

UpNext

The New Creation!

Recommended Reading:

The Sign of the Cross

What Does it Mean to be Reconciled?Need Forgiveness?  This is the place to start!

Three Days of Darkness – Mark Mallett

Turing Away From Sin – Mark Mallett

The Heart of a New Revolution – Mark Mallett

The Pope: Thermometer of ApostasyMark Mallett – A MUST READ!

A Black Pope? – Mark Mallett- A MUST READ!

Possible or Not? – Mark Mallett – a compliment to the above writing…

The Hour of the Laity – Mark Mallett

Book Study

Chapter 8, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Chapter 7

Chapter 6 Part I and Part II

Chapter 5 Part I and Part II

Chapter 4: Part I: Revealing the Son of Man
Chapter 4: Part II: Coming on the Clouds

Chapter 3: Heavenly Liturgy and the Holy Mass

Chapter 2: 4 Senses of Sacred Scripture

Coming Soon: An Introduction

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