A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pause in parsing

The book of Revelation intimidates some people: vivid depictions of eschatological destruction are not the stuff of pleasant bedtime reading and the cascades of apocalyptic imagery are not easy to navigate.

Moreover, even within denominations, there are disagreements: about the timelines of certain events and about the identity of certain individuals and entities described in the book.

It might therefore be understandable to pass over today’s first reading, from the seventh chapter of the book of Revelation, and reflect on the Beatitudes in today’s Gospel.

Yet there are great treasures in the book of Revelation (as in all Scripture) and one does not need to be a Scripture scholar to appreciate many of them.

Indeed, sometimes it is good to set aside our analytical minds (only temporarily) and simply to open our hearts and our imaginations to what we hear:

  • To look out with John over that great multitude, which no man could number of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,

  • To stand in our spirits before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in (our) hands;

  • To cry loudly in our hearts, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

  • To join our souls with the angels and all creatures in worshipping God and saying,

    Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving,
    and honour, and power, and might,
    be unto our God for ever and ever.


There is a time to parse,
but first and foremost
it is always a time to praise.