Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Test everything

In 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21, the Holy Spirit teaches us through St. Paul: "Do not stifle the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test everything; retain what is good."

In these latter days, there are many false prophets masquerading as disciples of the Lord Jesus. How may we determine what is true and what is false? There must be a way to discern and promote the good and to determine what is false and what should be ignored. Thankfully, there is.

"Ubi Ecclesia, ibi Sanctus Spiritus!" "Where the Church is, there is the Holy Spirit!" Vatican II, speaking of the charismatic gifts, has said that they, "must be accepted with gratefulness and consolation.." However, at the same time, the Council also taught that, "Judgment as to their genuineness and their correct use lies with those who lead the Church and those whose special task is not to extinguish the spirit but to examine everything and keep that which is good." (Lumen Gentium, No. 2).

This is the mind of the Church: that genuine charismatic gifts are to be thankfully welcomed and it is the Church's role to evaluate their genuineness. A charismatic gift in the Church does not discover any new Gospel. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"Throughout the ages, there have been so-called 'private' revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church." (No. 67).

All apparitions, private revelations and prophetical utterances must meet this first test of authenticity: conformity with the teachings of the Catholic Faith as interpreted by the Magisterium.

Getting back to false prophets. A woman from Massachusetts (who shall remain nameless) has created two "Catholic" blogs and on these blogs has informed her readers of how she experienced a "Eucharistic miracle." At the same time, this confused woman has said that she finds many of the Magisterium's documents to be "legalistic" and has associated herself with a couple of other bloggers who have promoted Centering Prayer and other New Age/Occult forms of spirituality.

These are red flags. And what they suggest is troubling. False prophets abound in these troubled times. These false prophets claim to have wisdom and to have experienced God's "wonderful love." This as they contradict the teachings of the Church or deride Magisterial documents as "legalistic."

This is not the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the work of the Devil who often comes disguised as an angel of light. "Ubi Ecclesia, ibi Sanctus Spiritus!" - "Where the Church is, there is the Holy Spirit!" No authentic disciple of the Lord Jesus will ever oppose the Magisterium of Christ's Church, deride its official documents, or promote (or associate with those who do promote) New Age Occultism.



Anonymous said...

Well said Paul. Every true Catholic will always adhere to the Church's magisterium and will certainly refrain from ridiculing the magisterium's documents.

This same woman regularly puts down co-workers and others in what I believe is an attempt to make herself appear "more righteous." It's one thing to publically correct others who publically engage in falsehood - something which you accomplish very well without judging the person - but to render judgments on persons is pharisaical.

Furthermore, this woman has contradicted Sacred Scripture - God's Holy Word - and when I mentioned this at her site - along with another commenter - she deleted my comment and the other as well.

Specifically, she was insisting that God promised never to destroy the world again. I tried to explain to her that God said He would never destroy the world through another deluge but that He would destroy the present heavens and earth through fire (see 2 Peter 30.

This is pride. Unable to admit that she was wrong, she simply deleted the comments setting the record straight.

But what is really disturbing is her attempt to ridicule the documents of the Magisterium. In my opinion, this woman is intent on self-promotion rather than on the Gospel and on fidelity to the Church's magisterium.

And it is troubling.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that! The thing which matters - the only thing - is this: What does Christ's Church have to say?

To say that the Church's documents are "legalistic" is to attack the Person and Teaching of Jesus Christ as made known through His Church's Magisterium.

I would pray for this troubled woman.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Another sad individual who claimed to possess mystical gifts is featured here:


This should stand as a warning to the faithful.

Thanks for your comments folks.

God love you

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