"Apocalypse", Michael D. O’Brien


TODAY, the Holy Father has released a long anticipated document, bridging the gap between the current Eucharistic Rite (Novus Ordo) and largely forgotten pre-Conciliar Tridentine rite. This continues, and perhaps makes "whole," the work of John Paul II in re-highlighting the Eucharist as the "source and summit" of Christian faith.



While I am extremely hesistant to place any significance upon dates, the symbolism of the release of this document on 7/7/07 struck me. I felt drawn to the book of Revelation, which is also a marvelous allegory of the Mass. I opened the Book to chapters 5 and 6. 

I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" …Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world. He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.

Then I watched while the Lamb broke open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures cry out in a voice like thunder, "Come forward." I looked, and there was a white horse, and its rider had a bow. He was given a crown, and he rode forth victorious to further his victories. When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, "Come forward." Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword… (Rev 5:1-6, 6:1-4)

On one level of interpretation, this scripture passage could be understood as the cardinals and bishops (four living beings) and priests (elders) before the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass, "a Lamb that seemed to have been slain" (see The Apocalypse Letter by Letter; Chapter 2; written by Steven Paul, for a literary analysis of the symbolism of Revelation; iUniverse Inc., 2006).

The Lamb with 7 horns, 7 eyes, which are the 7 spirits of God, is about to break open the scroll which commences the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, and 7 Bowls of God’s wrath prior to the Era of Peace.

In his book, Antichrist and the End Times, biblical scholar Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi writes,

The seven seals of the Book of Revelation appear to unfold as follows: If people do not heed the Warning of Christ (first seal), there will ensue a great war at the hands of men (World War III), causing much bloodshed (second seal)… —p. 59, St. Andrews Productions, 2005

(Note: I believe the First Seal is already opened and will culminate in a later seal… See The Breaking of the Seals). If this is the case, then this new document, Summorum Pontificum, may be a sign that we are approaching the Eye of the Storm, when Christ victorious will attain further victories through a soverign act of Divine Mercy.

These interpretations are worth "pondering in the heart." May I add the wise caveat of St. Paul:

Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect… (1 Cor 13:9)

…for some things which are coming are already here, and those present, are yet to come.


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