“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; […].” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God creates man on the sixth day

Genesis 1:26-31 (RSVCE)

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” […] And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

That’s why 6 is the number of man, and 666, the number of the beast, that is, number intensified.

The Mystery of God, The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity

“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the ‘hierarchy of the truths of faith.’ The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men ‘and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin.’”

“Christians are baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Before receiving the sacrament they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son, and the Spirit: ‘I do.’ ‘The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.’””[1]

[1] Excerpt [without footnotes] From Handbook of Prayers by Rev. James Socias

https://books.apple.com/us/book/handbook-of-prayers/id533501313 [This material may be protected by copyright].

The Mystery Illustrated

The last is the template for “in our image, after our likeness.”

Better

In the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
adam and eve

The “why” for marriage before a priest

In Judaism
Chuppah | Wikipedia

Bride to the right of the groom. Don’t know the reason at the moment.

Trinity on Earth

The Mystery here is very deep indeed. But first an anonymous Carol in old English – can we understand it now? – and Latin, 15th century, second stanza:

For in this rose conteinèd was
Heaven and earth in litel space,
Res miranda, res miranda.

In order:

– Joseph, Mary, God
– Mary, Jesus, Holy Spirit
– Joseph, Jesus, Mary/Mary, Jesus, Joseph/Joseph, Mary, Jesus

Last person like the Holy Spirit, uniting or covering.

That’s why St. Joseph is always silent! He is in heaven in a most unique way.

In eternity

Pre-existing, eternal words, sons of God.

more later …

In the beginning on Earth

– God [the Son], Adam, styled son of God
– Adam, Eve, God [the Son]

In the beginning in Heaven

– God [the Son], Lucifer the Day Star
– Covering cherub, God [the Son], Lucifer

In heaven

Whom the heavens cannot contain has chosen heaven as his dwelling place. Our Father who art in heaven

In heaven, God, his sons from the womb before the Day Star, the Day Star first then the other morning stars, then the rest of the stars, the angels.

Blog post in progress. Coming up among others:

– the plan
– the rebellion
– meaning of station; mansions in heaven
– Marriage of heaven and earth. God’s dwelling on earth

The other “why” of the Shelter in Place

to datechon/ho katechon, now we know what was restraining the Antichrist

The Apostle [St. Paul] gives three stages in the evolution of evil: the leaven of iniquity, the great apostasy, and the man of sin. But he adds a clause calculated to determine the time of the main event more accurately; he describes something first as a thing (to datechon), then as a person (ho katechon), preventing the occurrence of the main event: “Only he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way.”
Catholic Encyclopedia > Antichrist

He mentions this in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians:

2 Thess 2:6-7 (RSVCE)
6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.[a]

Footnotes:
a. Evil will operate secretly till the final unmasking.

Now that daily Mass has ceased and this is mentioned in prophet Daniel [9:26-27 (RSVCE); continual burnt offering], in hindisght we can now see that it was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

to datechon

that was restraining the appearance of the Antichrist.

Luca Signorelli’s 1501 depiction of the antichrist, from the Orvieto Cathedral

Being the ape of God, the devil knows:

Mk 3:27 (RSVCE)
27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.

With the Holy Mass out of the way, through the agency of his beasts, he can now make war on the saints and conquer them.


The Antichrist is imminent!

Le génie du mal had both an idol/image and an offering at the closing Mass of “La Pachamama” Synod

Simius Dei

Lucifer Liège (Belgium)_ credit: Luc Viatour

St. Augustine referred to Satan as Simius Dei, the ape of God, because Satan counterfeits the works of God.


Catechesis

The Sacrifice of the New Law

The Sacrifice of the New Law is the Holy Mass, which is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, really present on the altar under the appearances of bread and wine, and offered to God for the living and the dead.

The Holy Mass is one and the same Sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ, who offered himself, a bleeding victim, on the Cross to his heavenly Father,

Sanctuary Cross with Corpus_St Jude Parish

continues to offer himself in an unbloody manner on the altar, through the ministry of his priests.

Elevation of the chalice after the consecration during a Solemn Mass_FSSP

Jesus Christ, Son of God made man, God’s Image, is both Priest and Victim.


The Aping by Satan at the closing Mass of “La Pachamama” Synod

Idol/image representing “La Pachamama”

A bowl of dirt on the right of the stone is there to represent Pachamama, because of her status as a Mother Earth. (source)

Brazilian Catholic commentator Bernardo Küster told Dr. Taylor Marshall that the bowl of earth and greenery was itself a substitute for the carvings of the idols.

“It’s the Mother Earth …. And that vase was full of earth,” Küster said.

“So for them, it doesn’t matter if it’s an idol made of wood or if it’s a vase full of earth because to them everything is interconnected,” (Source)

Offering to “La Pachamama”

[P]ots of earth, filled with votive offerings which are then covered over with flowers, are associated with the traditional worship of the Pachamama, or Earth Mother. Moynihan linked to a guide to Pachamama worship, which encourages devotees not to leave out something red. (Source)


The Horror!

So the bowl of dirt was both an idol/image of and an offering to “La Pachamama” or the deity Mother Earth right on the same Altar at St. Peter’s on which Pope Francis, as a minister of Christ, offered to God the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, really present on the altar under the appearances of bread and wine.

Satan was beside God at the Altar of St. Peter’s receiving worship at the same time God was receiving worship.

It appears Satan has achieved in the Church, the kingdom of heaven on earth, what he attempted to do in heaven but was thwarted in the heavenly court by St. Michael who asked during that attempt, ‘who is like God?’ By contrast, the highest of God’s ministers Pope Francis actually gave La Pachamama idol prominence as it led the procession into St. Peter’s and after receiving the idol, he instructed that the same idol be placed on the Altar, thus profaning St. Peter’s and desecrating her Altar.

If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy[.] [1 Cor 3:17 (RSVCE)]

An indigenous woman (Marcivana Rodrigues Paiva) hands Pope Francis a plant during the closing Mass of the Synod (Vatican Media)

Satan and his Antichrist

3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[a][b] is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. [2 Thess 2:3-4 (RSVCE)]

Footnotes:
a. Thessalonians 2:3 Other ancient authorities read sin
b. the man of lawlessness: i.e., Antichrist.


The Horror! A Buenos Aires journalist describes Bergoglio | RORATE CÆLI


Contra Recentia Sacrilegia | Protest against Pope Francis’s sacrilegious acts [Document; Signers]

The Pious High Priest and the Godless and not True High Priest


Celebrating for Provoking God to Act against His Church?


2018


Catholic Encyclopedia > Idolatry

Jewish Encyclopedia > WORSHIP, IDOL By Kaufmann Kohler, Ludwig Blau

The Desolating Sacrilege at Holy Mass concluding the Pan-Amazon Synod of Bishops 2019-10-27: ‘let those who are in Rome flee to the mountains!’

The Desolating Sacrilege at Holy Mass concluding the Pan-Amazon Synod [“La Pachamama” Synod] of Bishops Sunday, 2019-10-27: ‘let those who are in Rome flee to the mountains!’


The idol itself is called an Abomination.


An indigenous woman hands Pope Francis a plant during the closing Mass of the Synod (Vatican Media)
Marcivana Rodrigues Paiva (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The “Desolating Sacrilege”

The “Desolating Sacrilege”, literally “Abomination of Desolation”, is taken from Daniel 9:27 meaning the profanation of the temple (1 Mac 1:54). In the verses Mark 13:14-23 on the great tribulation, our LORD appears to regard the fall of Jerusalem as a metaphor for the end of the world.


The Desolating Sacrilege upon the Altar of Burnt Offering c. 167 B.C.

1 Maccabees 1:53-55 (RSVCE)

Zeus Olympus

The rabbis as a whole consider the expression “Abomination of Desolation” as referring to the desecration of the Temple by the erection of a Zeus statue in its sacred precincts by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.


The Jewish War in Judaea (70-71 CE)
The Arch of Titus, Rome

The Arch of Titus is a Roman Triumphal Arch which was erected by Domitian in c. 81 CE at the foot of the Palatine hill on the Via Sacra in the Forum Romanum, Rome. It commemorates the victories of his father Vespasian and brother Titus in the Jewish War in Judaea (70-71 CE) when the great city of Jerusalem was sacked and the vast riches of its temple plundered. The arch is also a political and religious statement expressing the divinity of the late emperor Titus.

In the year AD 70, the Roman armies destroyed and profaned the temple, though the exact nature of the Desolating Sacrilege is unknown. The South inner panel close-up of relief of the Arch shows some spoils from the plundered temple.

South inner panel, close-up of relief showing spoils from the fall of Jerusalem

Hadrian later ordered the erection of a statue of Jupiter on its ruins.

Jupiter

“La Pachamama” [Mother Earth] IDOL, a bowl of dirt on the right of the stone, was the Desolating Sacrilege at the Holy Mass concluding the Pan-Amazon Synod, Sunday, Oct 27, 2019
“La Pachamama” idol, a bowl of dirt on the right of the stone
“La Pachamama” representations

It appears that this idol was also present to the left of Pope Francis in the Aula where the Pan-Amazon Synod was held.


Endnotes

The Navarre Bible – NT Expanded Edition Commentary:

1) Matthew 24:15-28

The discourse now returns to what our LORD was saying earlier (24:5-8). In the first verses of this passage (vv. 15-22), he seems to be referring specifically to the destruction of Jerusalem and all the unimaginable travails that will involve (cf. v. 21). To denominate this terrible event, Jesus uses the phrase “the desolating sacrilege”, referring to the “abomination of desolation”, spoken of in the book of Daniel (9:27; 11:31; 12:11), when the prophet speaks of the idolatrous Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who occupied the temple with his troops and placed images of false gods on the altar of burnt offerings (1 Mac 1:54). Our LORD is applying that episode from the history of Israel to the future destruction of Jerusalem: that is why he calls attention to the passage in Daniel (“let the reader understand”). A new abomination, he says, will occur, ruining the temple to make way for idolatrous worship – as would happen in fact in year AD 70, when the Roman armies destroyed and profaned the temple, and again later under Hadrian, who ordered the erection of a statue of Jupiter on its ruins.

Our LORD the (vv. 25-28) announces further calamities: amid all these trials, false prophets and messiahs will appear (v. 24), who will perform false signs and wonders. They will try to pass themselves off as the true Christ who is to come (v. 26). Jesus has a single word of warning for all these eventualities: “Do not believe it” (vv. 23, 26). The Son of man will not come in a hidden way or only for the sake of certain individuals; he will come like lightning that lights up all the earth (v. 27)

2) Mark 13:14-23

In these verses, our LORD appears to regard the fall of Jerusalem as a metaphor for the end of the world. The “desolating sacrilege”, literally “abomination of desolation” (v. 14), is a phrase taken from Daniel 9:27 meaning the profanation of the temple (1 Mc 1:54). Our LORD uses it to describe the terrible situation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem (vv. 14-20) when these days come: their plight will seem unbearable. He also speaks of the false messiahs and false prophets who will appear to work “signs and wonders” to deceive believers (vv. 21-22). This great “tribulation” (v. 19) is something that Christians should keep in mind when they feel they can endure no further trials. To cope with these difficulties, our LORD says, Christians must remember two things. First, he realizes that the dangers may well seem overwhelming, but God will not allow his chosen ones to be tempted beyond their endurance (v. 20). Also, they should remember that he has forewarned them: they must take heed and be watchful (v. 23). “The Word kept hidden from us the day and hour of the end of all things, and the day and hour of our own deaths. […] Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we will walk onwards every day as we have been called, fixing our attention on what is truly important and ignoring whatever is of no real importance. If a man knew the day and hour of his death, he might waste all the time before it came. Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we must always be prepared” (St. Athanasius, Contra Aroanos, 3, 49).

3) Central to the role of the False Prophet

is making the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast.

Our “La Pachamama”, or Our Mother Earth.

4) Pope Francis gives away relics of St. Peter to Orthodox patriarch By Diane Montagna, Wed Jul 3, 2019 – 11:57 am EST | LifeSiteNews.com


Resources

1) Jewish Encyclopedia > ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION By Louis Ginzberg

2) Catholic Encyclopedia > The Abomination of Desolation

3) Jewish Encyclopedia > ABOMINATION By H. Pereira Mendes

(to’ebah): Abomination of the highest degree; […] Still more offensive to the God of Israel is the practise of idolatry. The idol itself is called an Abomination: “for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house and thus become a thing set apart [tabooed=ḥerem] like unto it; thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it; for it is a thing set apart [tabooed]” (Deut. vii. 25, 26, Heb.): “Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord” (Deut. xxvii. 15).

4) Wikipedia | Pachamama > New Age worship

There has been a recent rise in a New Age practice among white and Andean mestizo peoples. There is a weekly ritual worship which takes place on Sundays and includes invocations to Pachamama in Quechua, although there are some references in Spanish. Inside the temple, there is a large stone with a medallion on it, symbolizing the New Age group and its beliefs. A bowl of dirt on the right of the stone is there to represent Pachamama, because of her status as a Mother Earth. Many rituals related to the Pachamama are practiced in conjunction with those of Christianity, to the point that many families are simultaneously Christian and pachamamistas. Pachamama is sometimes syncretized as the Virgin of Candelaria. Certain travel agencies have drawn upon the emerging New Age movement in Andean communities (drawn from Quechua ritual practices) to urge tourists to come to visit Inca sites. Tourists visiting these sites, such as Machu Picchu and Cusco, are offered the chance to participate in ritual offerings to Pachamama.

5) Wikipedia > Abomination of desolation

The abomination of desolation, abomination that makes desolate, or desolating sacrilege (Hebrew: הַשִּׁקּוּץ מְשׁוֹמֵֽם, ha-shikkuts meshomem, Latin: abominatio desolationis) is a term found in the Book of Daniel which means literally “an abomination that desolates” or “an abomination that *depopulates”.

6) Pachamama Day: Most Popular Rituals in South America By Nathaly Bosch, August 1, 2019 | Daytours4u

7) Barnhardt posts on “La Pachamama”

8) Daniel 9:24-27 (RSVCE)

9) Pope Francis-Holy Mass concluding the Synod of Bishops 2019-10-27 > Offertory clip:

10) Inside The Vatican Magazine> The Moynihan Letters > Letter #59, 2019: In plain sight, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

11) Pagan idols aren’t harmless, and ‘dialogue’ is not an absolute goal By Phil Lawler, Oct 23, 2019 | Catholic Culture

12) The Synod on the Amazon, the spirit of Pachamama and the spirit of Elijah by Prof. Roberto De Mattei | Pan-Amazon Synod Watch, 16/11/2019 | RORATE CÆLI, October 30, 2019

13) „Warum die Pachamama-Verehrung im Vatikan keine Belanglosigkeit war“ by Bishop Athanasius Schneider | kath.net, 19 November 2019; Bishop Athanasius Schneider: Pachamama was worshiped at Vatican and it wasn’t harmless | LifeSiteNews, Wed Nov 20, 2019 – 4:37 pm EST

14) “Pachamama Slayer” Tells His Story in Exclusive Interview | TFP Student Action YouTube

15) What’s Behind the Amazon Synod: Apostasy?, Sep 16, 2019 | TFP Student Action YouTube

16) Le blog de Jeanne Smits: 26 novembre, 2019, Garder le silence et prier ?

17) Swiss Bishop explains why he dares to raise concerns about Pope Francis | LifeSiteNews YouTube

18) November 16, 2019 The demonic nature of Amazon paganism | Salvation is from the Jews YouTube

19) Cardinal Burke: ‘diabolical forces’ entered St. Peter’s Basilica through Pachamama idolatry by Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent | LifeSiteNews


20) 2019-10-27 = 11019-10-9 = 1109-1-10-9 = 119-119 = 9/11 9/11.


21) Coronavirus is ‘the killer of globalization’ and a ‘scourge’ from God: Roberto de Mattei By Dorothy Cummings McLean | LifeSiteNews, Sun Mar 15, 2020 – 9:13 am EST; De Mattei: Is the Corona Virus a Divine Punishment? A Video Conference | RORATE CÆLI

What is the Role of the False Prophet?

BIOGRAPHY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

The Navarre Bible – NT Expanded Edition

The Beasts Given Authority by the Dragon

From the commentary in The Navarre Bible – NT Expanded Edition on Rev 13:1-10, The first beast (vv. 1-10), that rises out of the sea symbolizes political power taken to such an extreme that it supplants God; the second (vv. 13:11-18), that rises from out of the earth, symbolizes those who defend and propagate that deification of power by giving it an acceptable face.

From the commentary in the aforementioned NT Edition on Rev 13:11-18, the second beast is identified with false prophets (cf. 16:13; 19:20) because his role consists in leading people astray and convincing them to worship the first beast. The rest of the commentary reads as follows:

Because he has real (but evil) power, he is able to work prodigies similar to those performed by the prophets (e.g., Elijah, who brought fire down from heaven: cf. 1 Kings 18:38) and even appears to vie with the power of the life-giving Spirit by breathing life into the images of the beasts. He symbolizes regimes and ideologies that reject God and put man on a pedestal. Materialism, “understood as a theory which explains reality and accepted as the key principle of personal and social action”, works in the same deceptive way, for “though it sometimes also speaks of the ‘spirit’ and of ‘questions of the spirit’, as for example in the fields of culture or morality, it does so only insofar as it considers certain facts as derived from matter (epiphenomena), since according to this system matter is the one and only form of being. It follows, according to this interpretation, that religion can only be understood as a kind of ‘idealistic illusion’, to be fought with the most suitable means and methods according to circumstances of time and place, in order to eliminate it from society and from man’s very heart” (John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem, 56).

Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times: The Holy Pontiff?

Our Lady of Good Success

Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times

The American TFP, April 19, 2000 > About Our Lady > Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Our Lady of Good Success appeared in Quito, Ecuador, to a Spanish nun of the Conceptionist Order, Mother Mariana of Jesus Torres y Berriochoa, whose little-known but extraordinary life has a direct connection with our days.

Sr. Mariana de Jesús Torres

Prophecies About The Holy Pontiff?

But when [evil] seems triumphant and when authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the ground.

Then will the Church, joyful and triumphant like a young girl, reawaken and be comfortably cradled in the arms of my most dear and elect son of those times. If he lends an ear to the inspirations of grace–one of which will be the reading of these great mercies that my Son and I have had toward you–we shall fill him with graces and very special gifts and will make him great on earth and much greater in Heaven. There we have reserved a precious seat for him because, heedless of men, he will have fought for truth and ceaselessly defended the rights of the Church, deserving to be called ‘martyr.’

Pray constantly, implore tirelessly, and weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your heart, beseeching the Eucharistic Heart of my most holy Son to take pity on His ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times by sending to His Church the Prelate who shall restore the spirit of her priests.


Novena to Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification
Novena to Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification | January 21, 2019 | TFP.org

(February 2 is the feast day of the apparition of Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification)


Novena to Our Lady of Good Success, January 25 – February 2

The American TFP > Novena to Our Lady of Good Success



Even in the End Times, during the Persecution of the Antichrist, the Church will remain unprevailed upon

Jesus’ Promise

Matthew 16:18 (RSVCE)
18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[a] and on this rock[b] I will build my church, and the powers of death[c] shall not prevail against it.[d]
Footnotes:
a. Matthew 16:18 Greek Petros
b. Matthew 16:18 Greek petra
c. Matthew 16:18 Greek the gates of Hades
d. 16.18 The name “Peter” comes from the Greek word for “rock.” Jesus makes him the foundation on which the church is to be built. The word “church” means “assembly” or “society” of believers. The Hebrew equivalent is used in the Old Testament to indicate the chosen people. In applying it to the church, Jesus shows it to be the Messianic community foretold by the prophets.


The Navarre Bible – NT Expanded Edition
Commentary on Rev 11:1-14 (RSVCE)

These verses contain the prophecy of the seer who has eaten the scroll, a prophecy about the tribulation the Church will undergo as a prelude to the events at the End that follow the seventh and final trumpet blast (11:15ff). The Church is symbolized by the temple and the altar of Jerusalem, which God protects. The rest of the city is that part of mankind that does not belong to the Church and before whom the Church bears witness to the point of martyrdom.

Jerusalem was overrun by the Gentiles in the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who profaned the temple and installed a statue of Zeus (cf. 1 Mac 1:54); much worse destruction was done by the Romans who razed temple and city, leaving not a stone upon a stone (see Mt 24:21; Mk 13:14-23; Lk 21:20-24). Taking his cue from all these events, St John prophesies that the Church will never suffer the same fate, for God protects her from the power of her enemies (see Mt 16:16-18). Christians may suffer persecution in one way or another, but physical or moral violence cannot overpower the Church because God protects her. “The Church, ‘like a stranger in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God’ (St Augustine, The City of God, 18, 51), announcing the cross and death of the LORD until he comes (cf. 1 Cor 11:26). But by the power of the risen LORD it is given strength to overcome, in patience and in love, its sorrow and its difficulties, both those that are from within and those that are from without, so that it may reveal in the world, faithfully, however darkly, the mystery of its LORD until, in the consummation, it shall be manifested in full light” (Vatican II, Lumen gentium, 8).

The “two witnesses” (v. 3) symbolize […]

Commentary on Rev 12:13-17 (RSVCE)

Here the dragon’s onslaught is presented in terms of the Church in her suffering. The woman who gives birth to a male child is an image of the Mother of the Messiah, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Church who “faithfully fulfilling the Father’s will, by receiving the word of God in faith, becomes herself a mother” (Vatican II, Lumen gentium, 64). By means of the Church, a person becomes a member of his Body (cf. notes on Eph 4:1-16). It is in this sense that we can say the Church is the Woman who gives birth to Christ.

The struggle the church maintains against the powers of evil is described using imagery taken from the Exodus (a time of great peril for the people of Israel). God brought the Israelites into the wilderness “on eagles wings” (Ex 19:4), that is, by ways man could not devise. When the prophet Isaiah announces the liberation from captivity in Babylon, he says that “they shall mount up with wings like eagles” (Is 40:31). Over the course of history, the Church enjoys this same divine protection that enables her to have the intimacy with God symbolized by the wilderness. The period of “a time, and times, and half a time” (v. 14), that is, three and a half years, was regarded, conventionally, as the duration of any persecution (at least from Daniel 7:25 onwards).

The river of water (v. 15) symbolizes the destructive forces of evil unleashed by the devil. Just as in the wilderness of Sinai the earth swallowed up those who rebelled against God (see Num 16:30-34), so will these forces be frustrated in their attack on the Church, for, as or LORD promised, “the powers of death [hell] shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). “This is nothing new. Since Jesus Christ our LORD founded the Church, this Mother of ours has suffered constant persecution. In times past, perhaps, the attacks were delivered openly. Now, in many cases, persecution is disguised” (St Josemaría Escrivá, In Love with the Church, 18).

(All emphases mine.)