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Section on Private Revelations contains the following links:
Thomas of Aquinas says, "When there are
no more revelations, people will be without guidance" (Summa
II-II. q 174 a.6).
We are living in a world that is as bad if not worse than at any critical period of history. People have turned their backs on God, live a life of indifference and sin, legally murder the innocent at the rate of 50 million a year, artificially manufacture life, wage unjust wars on each other, abuse and misuse the matrimonial act of love, devalue family life, abuse children and each other, lie, cheat, steal, profane, alter the words and teachings of His Son - the list is endless and it is just getting worse and worse.
God was not silenced with the birth, life and death of His dearly Beloved Son and continually cries out to His people to focus on Him, place all our trust in Him and return the Love He has for us by loving neighbour as self. In other words, follow the path laid down for us by His Son, Jesus Christ.
In order to do this He needs people to give His words of encouragement or warning. We read of numerous prophets in the Old Testament and of the strong words of John the Baptist and also of the Apostles after they received the Holy Spirit. As Christians we too are temples of the Holy Spirit and as such have been given the seven sanctifying gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. We have also been given the charismatic gifts where we find both the ordinary -- e.g, the gift to be a good parent or a good teacher -- and the extraordinary -- those which are or seem miraculous, such as the gifts of healing, prophesy, tongues or miracles..
"But we have gifts differing according to the grace that has been given us, such as prophesy to be used according to the proportion of the faith; or ministry, in ministering; or he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhorting; he who gives, in simplicity; he who presides; with carefulness; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness". Romans 12:6-7 (Douay-Challoner)
charismata (pl.), charisma (sg.): [Greek, = 'things given']. Or put another way, 'stuff from grace'. A charisma is given, not earned or bought. It is given by the Spirit, not by a leader or a church body. (It can sometimes come from the Spirit through a church body or a leader; it can also come against the wishes of church bodies, leaders, or even the body of believers as a whole.) There are many kinds of gifts the Spirit gives -- ultimately, life itself is a free gift from God. But when Christians speak of 'charismata', they are talking of a specific kind of gift : a gift that is given specifically to build up the community of believers, those within it, and those it serves. These gifts are given not to save, but to empower the saved.
"Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God "Father" and to share in Christ's grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory." - St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto
The Spirit gives ordinary folk the power to give the love and grace of God to each other, and to create a sacred space here in this world, if we are but open enough to recognise them and use them. But there is a danger: a soul could mistake its own desires for action of the Gifts, since the reasons are not clear to it. Two points must be kept in mind:
As pointed out at the opening of this discussion should we be surprised then to see so many good and holy people being used by God in such extraordinary ways? With prayer, and the discernemnt and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we should be open minded as regards the various seers, visionaries and mystics presenting themselves in the world today. Times do not change, people do not change, God does not change! If He felt the need to use people as His 'Voice' in the past is that need not even greater now in this the 21st century?
I believe it is, I believe
we should be listening, I believe we should open our eyes and look at what
is going on around us, I believe we should be speaking out and shouting
- this is wrong. I believe God is using His people in a most powerful way
today and we can't ignore it because if we do, we do so at our own peril
- how else is He to speak to us when we don't listen to His words in the
Scriptures or if His own Priests and Ministers don't teach, teach against
the Truth of the Scriptures or preach and teach the soft, easy and comfortable
approach - the Birth to the Resurrection without the Calvary?
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