Most Christians gain little profit from reading the prophetic books of the Bible. Some reduce the sum of the prophecies to a few Old Testament forecasts about the Virgin Birth and the suffering Messiah. Others chalk it all up to vague predictions about the distant future. Still others just write off the prophets as too weird for popular consumption.
Yet, the words of the prophets are indispensable to our growth—not only in our understanding of the Catholic faith, but in our most basic understanding of the world we live in. Without a clear understanding of prophecy, we cannot interpret the signs of our times.
Prophecy and You
In this 6 CD series, Dr. Scott Hahn guides listeners through a seminar on how to read prophetic works, and how to apply the prophetic word to everyday life. First, we have to put away false notions of prophecy. Dr. Hahn leads us to see that the strange language of prophecy fills more than the 17 prophetic books of the Old Testament.
It’s in the books of Moses as well, and in the words of Jesus and St. Paul and the Book of Revelation. And we can find it, in modern times, in the writings of seers such as the children of Fatima. Prophecy goes everywhere that biblical faith is found. For prophecy is not just about the distant past or distant future. It’s primarily about your life, right here, right now.
An Ordeal of Faith
Cardinal Ratzinger put it well in his notes illuminating the third secret of Fatima. Prophecy in the biblical sense, he explains, does not mean merely to predict the future, but to explain the will of God for the present.
For it’s God’s will that every generation, and every individual since Adam, should undergo a severe trial, a testing of faith and virtue—an ordeal. Sometimes the testing involves political or social turmoil. In many cases, however, the suffering is mostly personal and private. These ordeals usually seem hopeless by human standards and present us with choices that may not make sense at first.
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