What is the Catholic position on the rapture, the mark-of-the-beast and things in Revelation?

This past weekend I had an encounter with an acquaintance at a casual meet up place. His conversation took a leap from tracking devices in modern electronics, to the mark of the beast being required on the forehead or hand and quoted Rev 14:9 as a reference.

I responded saying this couldn’t possibly mean literally the hand or forehead…my thinking is if a person got “the mark” on their foot this wouldn’t excuse them from their being associated with “the best”. His response was was if my argument was true, then God made a mistake in the bible. I politely disagreed with his [personal] interpretation and excused myself from the conversation, but feeling very fired up about it. Alas…the Holy Spirit had me let it go.

But, it still leaves a lingering question: Having grown up very anti-catholic and in a very pentecostal protestant denomination, I firmly believed this literally at one point too - - along with the Rapture, the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Rev 20:4-6) – and several other things. So, help me understand; what is the Catholic position on the rapture, the mark-of-the-beast and other hard to understand things in the mysterious book of Revelation?

Thanks!

The following links should assist you in better understanding the Catholic Church’s teaching on the “rapture”. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.
**Recommended Reading:
**
[LIST]
*]The Rapture
*] Without the Rapture, what is Revelation about?
*]Where does “Left Behind” go wrong?
*]The Antichrist
*]Hunting the Whore of Babylon
*]The Whore of Babylon
*]False Profit: Money, Prejudice, and Bad Theology in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series
[/LIST]
Additional study:

[LIST]
*]What Jesus Really Said About The End Of The World

*]Beginning Apologetics 8: What Catholics Believe about the Second Coming, the Rapture, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and Indulgences
[/LIST]

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