Seven years shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. (Dan 4:22)
During Mass this past Passion Sunday, I sensed the Lord urging me to repost a portion of the Seven Year Trial where it essentially begins with the Passion of the Church. Once again, these meditations are the fruit of prayer in my own attempt to better understand the Church’s teaching that the Body of Christ will follow its Head through its own passion or "final trial," as the Catechism puts it (CCC, 677). Since the book of Revelation deals in part with this final trial, I have explored here a possible interpretation of St. John’s Apocalypse along the pattern of Christ’s Passion. The reader should keep in mind that these are my own personal reflections and not a definitive interpretation of Revelation, which is a book with several meanings and dimensions, not the least, an eschatological one. Many a good soul has fallen on the sharp cliffs of the Apocalypse. Nonetheless, I have felt the Lord compelling me to walk them in faith through this series, drawing together the Church’s teaching with mystical revelation and the authoritative voice of the Holy Fathers. I encourage the reader to exercise their own discernment, enlightened and guided, of course, by the Magisterium.
The series is based on the book of Daniel’s prophecy that there will be a "week" long trial for God’s people. The Book of Revelation seems to echo this where an antichrist appears for "three and a half years." Revelation is full of numbers and symbols which most often are symbolic. Seven may indicate perfection, whereas three and a half indicates a shortfall of perfection. It also symbolizes a "short" period of time. So, in reading this series, keep in mind that the numbers and figures used by St. John may only be symbolic.
Rather than send an email to you when the remaining parts of this series are posted, I will just re-post the remaining parts, one per day, for the rest of this week. Simply return to this website each day this week, and watch and pray with me. It seems appropriate that we meditate not only on the Passion of Our Lord, but the coming Passion of His body, which appears to be drawing nearer and nearer…
THIS writing examines the rest of the first half of the Seven Year Trial, which begins at the proximate time of the Illumination.
FOLLOWING OUR MASTER
Lord Jesus, you foretold that we would share in the persecutions that brought you to a violent death. The Church formed at the cost of your precious blood is even now conformed to your Passion; may it be transformed, now and eternally, by the power of your resurrection. —Psalm-prayer, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol III, p. 1213