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    The Seven Churches

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    The Seven Churches

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:14 am


    Today we are going to do a little discussion concerning the seven churches which St. John was ordered to write these words. This covers two chapters in Apocalypse, chapters 2 and 3.

    First Church Ephesus:

    1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he, who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil, and thou hast tried them, who say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And thou hast patience, and hast endured for my name, and hast not fainted. 4 But I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first charity. 5 Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.

    6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaites, which I also hate. 7 He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him, that overcometh, I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of my God.



    Peace be with you always


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    Second Church Smyrna & Third Church Pergamus

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:15 am


    Second Church Smyrna

    8 And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive: 9 I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich: and thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.

    11 He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: He that shall overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death.

    Third Church Pergamus

    12 And to the angel of the church of Pergamus write: These things, saith he, that hath the sharp two edged sword: 13 I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith. Even in those days when Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have against thee a few things: because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat, and to commit fornication: 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaites.

    16 In like manner do penance: if not, I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him that overcometh, I will give the hidden manna, and will give him a white counter, and in the counter, a new name written, which no man knoweth, but he that receiveth it.

    Peace be with you always


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    Fourth Church Thyatira

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:16 am


    Fourth Church Thyatira

    18 And to the angel of the church of Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like to a flame of fire, and his feet like to fine brass. 19 I know thy works, and thy faith, and thy charity, and thy ministry, and thy patience, and thy last works which are more than the former. 20 But I have against thee a few things: because thou sufferest the woman Jezabel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach, and to seduce my servants, to commit fornication, and to eat of things sacrificed to idols.

    21 And I gave her a time that she might do penance, and she will not repent of her fornication. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed: and they that commit adultery with her shall be in very great tribulation, except they do penance from their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts, and I will give to every one of you according to your works. But to you I say, 24 And to the rest who are at Thyatira: Whosoever have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will not put upon you any other burthen. 25 Yet that, which you have, hold fast till I come.

    26 And he that shall overcome, and keep my works unto the end, I will give him power over the nations. 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron, and as the vessel of a potter they shall be broken, 28 As I also have received of my Father: and I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.


    Peace be with you always


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    Fifth Church Sardis

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:17 am


    Fifth Church Sardis

    1 And to the angel of the church of Sardis, write: These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead. 2 Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God. 3 Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee. 4 But thou hast a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy. 5 He that shall overcome, shall thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    Peace be with you always


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    Sixth Church Philedephia

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:18 am


    Sixth Church Philadelphia

    7 And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia, write: These things saith the Holy One and the true one, he that hath the key of David; he that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth: 8 I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will bring of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie. Behold, I will make them to come and adore before thy feet. And they shall know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of the temptation, which shall come upon the whole world to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    11 Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 He that shall overcome, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

    Peace be with you always


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    Seventh Church Laodicea

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:19 am


    Seventh and Last Church Laodicea -- Lukewarm = Useless

    14 And to the angel of the church of Laodicea, write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot.

    14 "The Amen,"... that is, the true one, the Truth itself; the Word and Son of God. The beginning-- that is, the principle, the source, and the efficient cause of the whole creation.

    16 But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold fire tried, that thou mayest be made rich; and mayest be clothed in white garments, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance. 20 Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    21 To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

    Peace be with you always


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    Jesus Explanation about the Seven Churches - Commentary

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:30 am


    Notebook: 1945-50
    Chp: The Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle
    Page: 572

    "The Apocalypse, the prophecy of the Apostle of Light and Charity, illuminates--and does so through Charity--times, every time, until the last time. Nineteen centuries have passed since John received the revelation called "the Apocalypse," whose time of fulfillment, when measuring it solely against eternity, could be termed "near." But if the time waiting, when measured against earthly time, was and is long, as regards references to the state of the seven churches it is as current now as it was then.

    "John, on seeing the seven churches at that time, the seven more or less luminous lights at that time, saw not only those, but the other churches which would be formed over the centuries, just as he foresaw what has happened and will happen on earth, in Heaven, and in the netherworld.

    "He saw. The lights of holiness. The shadows of injustice. The growth of spirituality. The growth of humanity, or, rather of materiality. The blazing of charity and of wisdom nourished by it, a blazing rising up to Heaven. And the misty smoke of science devoid of wisdom, crawling on the ground, when man attempts to explain himself and so many other things in creation with his own knowledge alone. The sickening smoke of the lusts of the self, of all the lusts. The blameworthy smoke of selfishness and ferocity. Smoke, smoke, nothing more than smoke, and harmful smoke, crawling on the ground, seeping in, sullying poisoning, and killing. Killing the "best" things in the sense which God gives to this world and which we would call the most "beautiful" things. The three and four virtues, social relations, consciences, intellects, peace in the family.... All of them things which the smoke, which is found where there is no blazing charity, kills, poisons, sullies, and penetrates. The forming of the new world--the world of Jesus, of his Kingdom. And the forming of a new world in the new one--the world of the Antichrist, of his kingdom."


    Page: 577 - 581
    Notebook: 1945-1950 Sept./Nov.
    Chp: The Apocalypse of St.John the Apostle

    Jesus continues:

    "The Seven Churches. They had been founded only shortly before and founded by those who had been sent by God to found them: "Go and teach all peoples" (Matthew 28:19), after, in keeping with divine promise, they had received the Holy Spirit, who "would remind them of everything and teach them all truth" (John 14:26), in such a way as to be understood--that is, making them capable of understanding the highest things, so that "'robed' in power from on high" (Luke 24:49), they would be capable of being the founders of such a lofty thing as the Kingdom of God among men. And, in spite of this, imperfection--and even more than imperfection--had formed in many of the churches, for the Adversary or Antichrist was already active spiritually and was already working to corrupt and destroy the spiritual fortress of the Kingdom of God. To create discord among the members; to introduce subtle heresies; to arouse foolish pride; to counsel vile compromises between conscience and the law of the flesh, and mental restrictions, which are hateful to God, whose language is "Yes to mean yes, and no to mean no," and He wants the language of his children and faithful ones to be this way, to make charity grow cold; to increase love for earthly existence and wealth and material honors.

    "This is the work of the Adversary, tireless in working to try and defeat God and destroy what He has created, taking advantage of all that can help him, provided by men themselves, because of their own imperfection or a reaction provoked by unjust actions by the strongest members towards the weakest ones.

    "What is right to say should be said. Committing sins against justice and charity--which, like heavenly honey, draw souls to the mystical beehive and keep them faithful--provokes reactions by the stricken members, pain, scandal, and even distrust and separation.

    "The Church was founded by Charity, and it should always have been perfect charity. The Church is nourished by Charity and should give perfect charity to all its members, also and above all to the least and the weak ones to nourish them and keep them alive. The Church received the command to teach charity. But woe if the teaching is limited to the letter instead of being practiced in its spirit!

    "To live in charity to make the lambs live therein. This is the duty of the pastors. For if the lambs see that charity is expected by the pastors--and woe to the lamb who does not offer reverential love spurred to the point of renunciation of free judgment and free action in good things, which God Himself leaves man (indeed, He leaves all freedom, limiting Himself to saying what is good and not good)--while that charity is refused the lambs by the pastors, what happens? Because of a heart that does not open itself to the limitless needs of souls--I am speaking of the hearts of pastors--souls turn elsewhere and go knocking on other doors, and sometimes they are doors opening to material needs, and they give bread, clothing, medicine, advice, and help to find a job, not to be thrown out of one's house by a hard-hearted rich man, but they also remove religion and justice from hearts. For this is what happens. And because of bread, clothing, a roof, or help to re-establish justice towards the persecuted, one soul or several souls leave the sheepfold, the pasture, the way of God, and go to other pastures--former, to material ways; the latter, to anti-Christian ones.

    "During the centuries-long development of the Mystical Vine, separations even of main shoots have taken place. There have been many causes, and not all of them derive from spontaneous rebellion by members, but also from rebellion provoked by rigorism without charity, which requires others to carry the weights one does not carry. For this reason Israel experienced internecine battles and schisms. For this reason the humble folk follow Christ. For this reason today, too, some members separate or at least remain bewildered or fall into scandal.

    Peace be with you always


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    Re: The Seven Churches

    Post by Poem on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:33 am


    Jesus continues speaking:

    "Let us observe the seven churches at that time, as John saw them and as he heard them being judged by the Eternal Judge. We shall see that what later, and to an even-vaster degree, was and is active in the churches or religions called "Christian," but which are not Catholic Christian, was already active in them. The separated churches.

    They gave themselves a human constitution, preserving, as regards the true Church, only what they liked to preserve to call themselves "Christian." But to be Christian does not mean just to pray to Christ and preach Him in some way or other; it does not mean to be even more rigorist than true Catholics in certain matters. To pray to God, to preach God, and to be rigid in the formalistic service of God--such was also done by the priests, scribes, and Pharisees of Jesus' time among men. And yet that did not make them-aside from rare exceptions--"Christians," but, on the contrary, made them "anti-Christians."

    To be Christian means to form part of the Mystical Body by belonging to the Church of Rome as Catholics and belonging to Christ by truly living as He taught and commanded us to live. Otherwise one is not a Christian in reality, not even if one is Catholic because one has received Baptism according to the rite of the Church of Rome and the other sacraments. Even if one has not fallen into and remained in serious sin, even if one has not gone so far as to deny the Faith, form part of sects condemned by the Church, or belong to political parties which are also condemned because they are rightly condemnable, one is not a true Catholic and real Christian when a Christian life is not led, when God is not honored with intense, continuous worship, even in the intimacy of one's home, always present even the intellectual or manual work which must be carried out, and always active even in the social relations which must be continuously maintained with all of our neighbors, whether more or less linked to us by bonds of blood or social relationships.

    One is not a true Catholic and real Christian when one practices only external, formal worship in order to be praised or only inner worship so as not to be derided as sanctimonious or perhaps suffer mental loss. One is not a true Catholic and real Christian when one does not seek to practice virtues as perfectly as possible, to the point of heroism, if necessary; when one does not exercise what is called "completion of the law: charity," of which the works of mercy are as many other branches; when one does not seek to suppress a vicious habit which is the cause of sin; when one sins against the Holy Spirit by doubting Divine Mercy, which forgives those who repent, by presuming one can save oneself alone, by mocking or denying the luminous truths of Faith, not only the primary and principal truths, but everything contained in the Creed and defined by the ancient and recent dogmas, by harboring envy towards the just, by obstinately remaining a sinner and impenitent; when one harms the life of one's neighbor or just the neighbors physical health or honor; when one tramples on the order of nature by carrying out abominable acts which animals do not carry out in blameworthy fashion because they lack reason and conscience; by oppressing the poor; by practicing usury for illicit gain; and by limitlessly exploiting those who work and denying them a just wage.

    "When one lives that way, Jesus' severe judgments of the scribes, Pharisees, and merchants in the Temple are deserved. How appropriate it would be for the points in the Gospel--which ought to be the book read every day by every Christian, sentence by sentence, meditating on the truths which yield Life--where Jesus distinguishes between the truth of religious life and the appearance or falsification of religious life to be very frequently read, reread, and meditated on! And for one to examine oneself. Compare oneself to the Pharisee and the publican, the Pharisee and the sinful woman, the Levite and the Good Samaritan, and the rich who tossed their excess wealth into the treasury and the widow who tossed "all she had to live on" and see to which category one belongs. And repent and become a true disciple of the Master, a true child of God, and a true brother and sister of Christ--that is, be called a Christian and, even more, be one in reality--if one sees one belongs ot the category with only external worship.

    For otherwise people will be called Christians, but not be shoots nourished by Him. They will be detached shoots which, even if they are not completely dry because a natural tendency towards Goodness makes them act as just ones, are nevertheless branches that have replanted themselves on their own, in a proud way and have produced a plant standing apart which yields foxgrapes and not good ones. To go back to being such they must again be grafted onto the Vine, the only true Vine enabling the shoots to bear abundant, holy fruit."

    "This is valid for both the individual shoots and for those forming a life apart, the separated churches, which, because they are separated and have given themselves their own constitution, conceived by their founder--a man, and not the God-Man--cannot have the totality of spiritual life which only belonging to the Mystical Body maintains and which protects against ever-greater separations, not only from the Body in itself, but from the Truth and Light which render secure the way leading from the earthly Church to the heavenly one.

    "And the fact that not belonging to the Mystical Body produces a falling away from justice as well is seen more clearly than ever today. Separation is growing deeper. For some of the separated churches not only limit themselves to not offering veneration and obedience to the Supreme Pastor; not only do they take the liberty of raising their protests when the Pontiff speaks with divine light, defining new truths; not only, though saying they want to serve Christ, do they tear away from Him--or try to--the creatures that belong to Him, who are part of his Sheepfold and whom they, the separated ones, attempt to take to their own, to other pastures where not everything--and especially the main part--is good; but, and this is monstrous, they set about celebrating the Beast, the Antichrist, and approving his ideologies.

    "But this, too, has been said: "And the whole earth followed the beast in wonder" (Revelation 13:3). Even though one sees that the beast, out of obedience to the dragon, that gives it all power, "is waging war on the saints and defeating them" materially (Revelation 13:7). War on the saints--that is, on all who worship the true God and remain faithful to Him, loving the Son of Man and of the Woman with all their strength and loving the Woman who was God's Tabernacle and sempiternal Praise, the perfect Image and Likeness of God.

    Peace be with you always

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