Posted tagged ‘Blessing’

Revelation Unveiled: A Whole New Vision!

May 21, 2012

I finally finished reading through the Haydock Bible
about a month ago–
which means I plowed through the book of Revelation again.

Revelation is generally been a book I’ve avoided.
It’s so hard to understand, so symbolic, so confusing…
and it’s about the end of time,
which I can’t predict anyway
& isn’t likely to happen in my lifetime.
People get all sorts of strange ideas from Revelation…

Every other time I’ve read it,
I’ve gotten bogged down in the end-times speculation,
the sensationalism & generally been frustrated.

I just didn’t “get it.”

This time I decided to forget trying to “figure it out”
to take a step back and just look at the big picture.

We have scenes in Heaven & on earth.
Which looks better?
Heaven!
Earth looks pretty bad.

That’s a good start!

We have scenes of good and evil.
Which are more appealing?
Good, of course, although I’m noticing that everybody suffers.
It’s just that the suffering of the good is temporary
& followed by eternal glory,
while the suffering of the evil starts on earth
& continues forever
(more motivation to aim for Heaven!).

Then I put on my prince’s Michael Card cd “Unveiled Hope,”
which is based on Revelation,
and was struck by the drama.

Hm…

All this is reminding me of childrens’ stories:
the villain and hero (so obviously black and white!), the monsters,
the noble struggle and unexpected success (the Lamb wins?!),
the bridegroom and bride, the drama,
the vivid color, the happy ending…
all written by St. John, the apostle
who kept referring to his readers as “little children”
(I John 2:1, 12, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21),
as a message from the One Who said,

Amen I say to you, unless you be converted,
and become as little children,
you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven
-Matthew 18:3

I’ve been coming at this all wrong!

I need to scrap the mind of “the scholar”
and come to this book with the mind of a child…
but that doesn’t mean I stop asking questions!
Children (you parents know this!)
ask LOTS of questions!

And from my study of the Catechism (paragraphs 115-118),
I know some good questions to ask about any verse of Scripture
(after, of course, looking into its literal meaning):

What does this tell me about Jesus?
What does this tell me about how I should live (morality)?
What does this tell me about my destiny?

I’ve already started answering those!

I started to catch a vision of Revelation
as a sort of “spiritual lens”
through which to look at everything that happens here on earth,
to catch God’s celestial vision of salvation history
from beginning to end,
blowing away the darkness that covers the earth (see Isaiah 60:2),
destroying

the veil that veils all peoples;
the web that is woven over all nations
-Isaiah 25:7

revealing

The mystery which hath been hidden
from ages and generations,
but now is made manifest to His saints
-Colossians 1:26

The veil has been torn (Matthew 27:51).

I also noted
(as I never had before!)
that the book opens and closes
with a blessing for the one who reads and obeys it!
(Revelation 1:3, 22:6)
I know of no other book of Sacred Scripture that does that.
And God says He’s sending this message
because time running out–
we need this now.

I’ve been in Revelation ever since
and expect to be absorbing it for a good long time!

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Blessing the Lord After a Meal

September 2, 2010

A few weeks ago, after a particularly nice date-night dinner it just felt “right” to offer a prayer of thanks, so I did (ad hoc).
That triggered a flicker of a memory about there being an official Catholic “after meal” prayer. I have vague memories of distant relatives closing Thanksgiving Day meals with a brief, formal prayer.
I filed the idea for future reference. It came up again a time or two in the next few weeks, but never strongly enough for me to stop what I was doing & go looking for prayers. Then, today, part of my morning Scripture reading (I’m still working my way through the Haydock Bible and its commentary by the Early Church Fathers) was this verse:

“That when thou hast eaten, and art full,
thou mayest bless the Lord thy God,
for the excellent land which He hath given thee” -Deuteronomy 8:10

That did it. Giving thanks to God after a meal is Scriptural! And what better time to look up a prayer than when in the midst of praying?

I went digging.

I found variations on a theme. The first part is pretty standard, but the add-ons vary. I chose the ones I felt most called to pray, and left the Old English for my husband’s sake. I typed up & printed out little stand-up cards with the prayer and Deuteronomy 8:10 and put them at our places at the table (I know better than to think I’m going to memorize this overnight!):

We give Thee thanks, almighty God, for all Thy benefits,
who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to reward with eternal life,
all those who do us good for Thy name’s sake. Amen.
V. May the Lord grant us His peace.
R. And life everlasting. Amen.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

My husband did indeed enjoy the language (“When do you get a chance to use a word like ‘vouchsafe?!'”) and we’ve been trying to pray this for every meal at home. I emphasize “trying” because although I do ok when I’m eating alone, I’m finding that when eating together we finish eating at different times & tend to get up to put things away, start dishes, look something up, etc., which makes it hard to coordinate to pray together at the end of the meal. That’s a work in progress.

All in all, I think it’s an idea whose time has come…at least for us.

And…all of you who “do us good for [God’s] Name’s sake”
(even a brief prayer for us counts 🙂 ,
know that we’re praying you Home!


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