His eyes were drawn to the central figure of the image, a figure of Christ. How strange, he thought, to see a representation of the Lord with the figure of Satan whispering in His ear, and his arm penetrating His robes. Is that Christ's hand of the devil's that emerges from the folds of cloth?
It was not a literal description of a scriptural scene, he concluded; although it might be the artist's imaginative rendering of the temptaion in the desert? But there was something out of character in the way Christ leaned into Satan's embrace and listened with such attention.
He stared at it for a long time. Suddenly, the meaning of the mural became clear, like a scene viewed through lenses revolving into focus. The blurred shapes of reality drew together into a sharp, piercing landscape of moral disaster.
The figure held in the devil's embrace was not Christ but Antichrist.
Elijah understood why Don Matteo had wanted him to see it.
-Father Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien
I've been thinking about the Apocalypse for a few weeks- my interest was piqued by picking up Father Elijah once more (from which the above quote comes). Apocalypse means unveiling- a rolling back of this world to show the concealed truth- the war between heaven & hell, the eternal purpose of human life.
The prophet Daniel speaks of the 'abomination that causes desolation' which will be placed in the temple when the daily sacrifices are stopped. Jesus speaks of this as being the sign of the coming tribulation. How are we to understand this? I believe it to mean that at some point, the Church will be persecuted and they shall attempt to halt the Sacrifice of the Mass.
I have a fairly traditional approach to the Apocalypse. As I approach Revelation, I am guided by this thought- that the prefigurements and presentiments of prophecy are to reach consummation. The spirit of the Antichrist is in every age. Is the Antichrist not to come at the end of the age?