A dictation of the Holy Spirit to Maria Valtorta.
The Apocalypse is a book of revelation, certainly. Indeed, it concludes the great Revelation. But it is also a prophetic book.
Both revelation and prophecy come from God. For only God inspires them. Only God can inspire them because only He knows the Truth, in being the Truth, and is familiar with future events because He is the Eternal, the All-Knowing, and the Almighty.
Prophecy is like a projection of future events, seen by God alone, and is illuminated for those living in the mists of their temporary present. To enable the great illiterates in religion to understand – and there are so many, even among those who limit being Catholics to receiving the Sacraments, obeying the precept to observe the days of obligation, taking part in processions, and going – yes, this, too – to talks, but who are unable to respond, when questioned, on so many matters and the meaning of certain words, for one thing is the expression “prophecy and prophets,” and another, “apostle,” and still others, and they get something good, involving light, mixed up with what is not good, not made of light, because they do not know – to make these religious illiterates understand what religion is and what prophecy is, just as elsewhere, to explain the Unity and Trinity of God, the comparison was used to the three sides of a polyhedron, in the same way let the comparison now be used – and perhaps they will understand – of a projection based on real events, but happening in another place and in a previous time, or a projection of events which will certainly take place, but are not yet present, and one single Mind knows them, one single Eye sees them, and one single Word can set them forth.
Man, over the ages, has made many inventions and discoveries, some good, some bad, and others which could have been good, because they could have been a means for training, instruction, and even elevation and instead have become not good because they have served to excite the base appetites of the inferior part, corrupt the intellect, and harm the soul as a result. One of these things which could have been good and which have become not good, in serving to disseminate vice, crime, and sin, is cinematography; another is the press. But the former is of use to get our idea across. Cinematography, with its films, can depict events and persons of the past. More or less competently in historical terms, for man rarely does what he does well and even more rarely does so according to the truth of things. But, in any case, by means of this invention, it is possible to show the living persons, events, traditions, and customs of past centuries and even millennia. The film flows by and man sees.
God takes a man – a prophet or one inspired by Him, certainly chosen by Him for this purpose – and for his spiritual eyes and ears depicts and relates past events whose truth has been altered, because of the passage of centuries or an involuntary alteration which may easily arise in oral revelation or a voluntary alteration caused by religious schisms, heresies, or scientific investigation detached from religious wisdom. Or He illuminates and reveals future events which only He knows in his eternal Present. And they see and hear, as if a film with sound were being projected in front of them. And God commissions them to manifest what He reveals to them, to be come his hand and mouth to write and say what God has been pleased to reveal.
This comparison – Jesus, too, made use of comparisons to enable his followers to understand his lessons – will enable many to grasp what prophecy is and what the prophets are, what the inspired person or seer is, and how one must believe in them, who manifest what is good to know so as to proceed along sure paths, provided they do not say things incompatible with Faith and the Great Revelation.
To some, prophecies seem to be something not only incomprehensible, because they are too obscure, but obsolete, in speaking of events that took place centuries ago. Yes, many things mentioned in them have already happened and will not be repeated. But many will be repeated, as they already have been every time humanity has returned to the condition for which the prophecy was given. Accordingly, whereas the Incarnation of the Word and the founding of the Church will not be repeated, since the Church, founded by Jesus, its Pontiff and Eternal Head, cannot perish because of his divine promise and there can thus be no need to found another, it is just as true that the punishments permitted by God as a result of the abomination entering the holy place and human injustice will be repeated, as they already have been repeated. And in regard to many other things it will be that way.
Humanity, with alternate cycles of justice and injustice, of real faith and merely external faith – “the letter and not the spirit of faith” – or even of nonfaith, for half the world’s population, also undergoes cycles of punishment and forgiveness – already suffered and obtained, respectively – without being made better by this. And prophecies, because they are given by those seeing “Time” with no limit in time, in many points serve as a light and guide, a voice of truth, and a merciful counsel for every time.
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 of 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.
–Maria Valtorta The Notebooks 1945-1950, Maria Valtorta, pages 572-574